“Well, it's official. After the NHL's Board of Governors signed off on it Wednesday and the NHLPA did the same on Saturday, the collective bargaining agreement is now official and the lockout is dead. The 2013 NHL season will begin next Saturday, Jan. 19.” – Yahoo Sports
The recent NHL announcement that there will be hockey this year is music to the ears of dedicated Coliseum goers. With the Islanders poised to leave the arena for good in 2015, fans were worried about an early team exit that would have left them hockeyless until further notice.
About the NHL schedule
What happens now that a deal has been struck between NHL owners and players? How will the league pull it all together on such short notice?
According to an article published on Jan. 12, 2013 in the Puck Daddy column of Yahoo Sports, “CBA official, NHL releases 2013 schedule; 10 can’t miss dates,” Sean Puck explains, “With the all important ‘Memo of Understanding’ now finally agreed to, training camps can begin…the NHL has finally released the full schedule after a week of reporters leaking various details of it…”
Note that teams around the league began formal practices this past Sunday, Jan.13, 2013. Opening day, set for Jan. 19, 2013, translates into a 48-game schedule.
Coliseum ice time
When the Islanders released their abbreviated regular season schedule for 2013, you could hear a collective sigh of relief from orange and blue loyalists all the way to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Isles will open up in Uniondale versus the New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m. on opening day. After that, the Tampa Bay Lightning comes to town on Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, for a matinee at 1 p.m.
The Pittsburgh Penguins take it to the ice at the Nassau Coliseum against the outgoing home town lame duck squad on Feb. 5.
Check the Coliseum website for game times and further details.
Thanks to the deal struck by owners and players, Coliseum supporters and Islander enthusiasts will have an abridged opportunity to watch some live action NHL hockey for the next few months. After that, what happens is debatable.