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"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Skinny: What's it Going to Feel Like?

At the Coliseum Saturday night, I was mostly excited for the new season but also maudlin for the "last season".

The bigger question is what is going to feel like 180 days from today -- on Saturday, April 11 when the Islanders host Columbus in the final regular season game at the Coliseum.
With the Hurricanes in town on Saturday, a group of displaced hockey fans made their way to the Coliseum  -- members of the Hartford Whalers Booster Club (and yes this group does still exist, 17 1/2 years after the Whalers said goodbye to Hartford and moved to Carolina).

One said something on Twitter that made The Skinny:
@WhalerWatch Had a good time at #Isles home opener vs #Canes. With the Islanders moving to Brooklyn, feel was similar to the Whalers home opener in 1997.
While you can't compare the distance between Raleigh and Hartford with the distance between Brooklyn and Uniondale, you most certainly can compare the feeling.

John Forslund is the only TV voice the Canes have had since the franchise moved to Carolina; he was also their last TV voice in Hartford, so it was his voice that many in New England heard to end an era.

If you have the time, watch this 10 minutes YouTube video; if you don't, just forward it to the last two minutes or so.

The video has the faces of many young children -- some maybe five or six years old at the time -- those kids are probably graduating from college right about now.  They grew up without their team 15 minutes from their house; just like my younger son (who is in 9th grade) will soon do.

In 180 days (plus hopefully weeks, or even months, of playoffs), many Long Islanders will be asking the same question they ask in the final seconds of that video.  WHY?

16,170 jammed the Coliseum on Saturday.  An announced crowd of 4,411 saw a minor league soccer game at Hofstra.  A year from now, that minor league soccer game will be the biggest game in Nassau County.

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