Lou Lamoriello has a decision in front of him that no other president/general manager in the NHL must confront. But these are the Islanders, and that must always be remembered regardless of how transformative Lamoriello’s and Barry Trotz’s twin arrivals were last year.
For Lamoriello must decide how to split his franchise’s home dates between two venues, Barclays Center and the Coliseum, and, to make matters more complex, he must do that knowing only the first round of the playoffs — if that — would be staged on the Island.
No one used it as an excuse this season. Not a player and not an executive. But when the Islanders met Carolina at Barclays for Game 1 of the second round on April 26, it marked the team’s first game in Brooklyn since Feb. 16, one day shy of 10 weeks.
This was no place like home.
“Like visiting an old friend,” is the way Trotz tried to spin it positively, when it was actually like unavoidably seeing an icky distant relative at a family reunion.
Lamoriello last week talked about understanding the nostalgia for the Coliseum. But the collective-bargaining agreement isn’t a document that accommodates either reverence or melancholy, and the fact is, every game played at the Coliseum generates lower revenue, while playoff dates at the old barn generate dramatically less income. That impacts not only the franchise’s bottom line but the cap and escrow.
The folks who operate both Barclays and the Coliseum want as few games as possible in Brooklyn, but that does not align with the league view.