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Finger Pointing Begins Amidst Islanders Move to Brooklyn

Some residents fear team's departure leaves Nassau County in a worse state.

While Brooklyn residents rejoiced Wednesday alongside Mayor Michael Bloomberg to news of the New York Islanders scheduled 2015 arrival at the Barclays Center, Nassau residents were left scratching their heads as to what went wrong.

"More than ever before, Brooklyn is the place where everyone wants to be," Bloomberg said shortly after the announcement of the Isles' departure. If Bloomberg's statement is right, it also means that Nassau County is now a place where nobody wants to be.

Local politicians expressed their disappointment Wednesday after news of the relocation broke, but that disappointment was lost on fans and residents who wanted answers.

Nassau residents and business owners began pointing fingers immediately after Islanders owner Charles Wang announced the first game of the 2015-16 season would be played in Brooklyn. From the taxpayers who voted down a referendum that would have allowed for a new arena to be built — pending NIFA's approval — to County Executive Ed Mangano, who some feel wasted time and a lot of money with that same vote, nobody was left off the ice (hockey reference).

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray said Wednesday that she was "disappointed" after learning of the team's departure.

"They’ve been a valued part of this region's identity, and we wish the team great success in the future," the supervisor said.

However, many local fans are also still bitter about Murray's role in denying the Lighthouse Project.

Originally proposed by in 2003, the massive Lighthouse Project proposal allotted for a five-star hotel, convention centers, shopping areas, offices, condos, restaurants and a brand new Nassau Coliseum.

The Lighthouse was rejected multiple times by Murray and the town's zoning board, who continually cited the "size, scope and character" as major problems.

In 2010, one blogger went as far to say that Murray "slit Long Island's throat" by standing against the project.

The blog reads:

Thank you Kate Murray, for treating a group that wanted to invest billions of dollars in the Town of Hempstead as an inconvenience.

Then, there's the team itself.

The Islanders performance on the ice over the last handful of seasons has not helped their cause. Since being eliminated by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the 2006-07 playoffs, the Islanders have not finished higher than 26th out of 30 teams in the National Hockey League.

The lack of wins on the ice has resulted in a lack of fans in the seats at the Nassau Coliseum.

The once-dominant franchise that won four consecutive Stanley Cup titles in the early 1980s had transcended into a team filled with ludicrous contracts and questionable trades. The theme, which started in the mid-2000s, crippled the Islanders for many seasons and the team is still recovering.

Superstar John Tavares was thought to be a savior when the team drafted him No. 1 overall in 2009, but even the 22-year-old phenom couldn't do it all.

But now, amidst a time when Nassau is already in financial dire straits, the team's relocation some 25 miles west begs for a serious answer to the question, "Who is to blame for the Islanders leaving Nassau County?"

Will s January 09, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Kate Murray is an embarrassment to the TOH. Not that the islanders haven't been an embarrassment themselves, but ms murray is in her position to improve the TOH not provide favors to her backers. I've yet to hear any valid rationale for the refusal of the multiple lighthouse projects that were proposed and would love to hear the big plan she's got for that site now. Dispicable politics as usual for Kate Murray.
Robert Demarco January 09, 2013 at 12:57 PM
As I have stated before, if the Lighthouse Project were built with private funding, Kate and her Republican cronies would not have the patronage opportunities they crave with construction contracts, consulting, etc. That is all these politicians care about; they do not represent the public, except for the flunkies who rely on them for favors and employment.
Frank January 09, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Kate Murray and her Garden City Cronies killed the lighthouse deal. Demarco is on the money. Wang wanted to pay for the whole thing without Taxpayer money. shame on Nassau. I hate the Islanders, but I hate Kate Murray even more. How she got re-elected is a mystery to me.
Frank January 09, 2013 at 04:16 PM
How very true. Nothing is better than section 8 checks. Always paid in full... always on time.
Frank January 09, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Kate Murray would object...

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