NEW YORK (WFAN) — Howie Rose is the unquestioned voice of the Islanders, and he used that voice on Wednesday to express his disgust over the franchise relocating to Brooklyn following the 2014-15 season.
Rose, who calls Islanders games on Madison Square Garden Network, didn’t mince words when he spoke to WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, ripping into the powers that be that played a role in this season being the franchise’s final one at Nassau Coliseum, the only home the club has known since joining the NHL in 1972.
“Imagine if the Islanders do get in the playoffs and make a run this year, what do you think (the Coliseum is) going to sound like? And how is it going to feel when it ends to know that we’ll never hear that again, experience that again when people are more than willing to come out and see the Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum?”
Rose was just getting started.
“It makes me sick to think of the process that brought it to this point,” he said. “Did you happen to see the front page of Newsday a couple of days ago? Now they are talking about a Long Island Rail Road stop at the Nassau Coliseum? Where have you turkeys been for the last 40 years? And you want to know why the Islanders are leaving? Now they are talking about putting an LIRR stop at the coliseum! You can’t make this stuff up. The people who are responsible for this cannot have any more of the figurative blood of the fans on their hands than they do. It’s abominable to me that it’s come down to this.”
Roberts asked Rose if people on Long Island are excited about the prospects of traveling to Brooklyn next season to see the team play in the state-of-the-art, but not built for hockey, Barclays Center.
“A lot of it depends on where you live. The further east you live the less likely you are to make the trek,” Rose said. “But I’m telling you, Brooklyn is not even a blip on my radar this year. You know what Brooklyn and Portugal have in common? Neither one of them are Long Island. That’s where the Islanders play and that’s where they belong. I will always feel that way, but at least for this year all I’m going to do is embrace … I know it’s a rundown building. We’re having the same conversation we had about Shea at the end, ‘it’s a dump, it’s our dump,’ all that, but I don’t even want to think about next year. I’m not the least bit interested in next year and what’s going to happen because it’s all about a club that has a chance to do some pretty good things this season.”
Rose explained why the Islanders should be a team to fear this season, and also touched on what should be an interesting offseason for the Mets, whose games he calls on WOR. To hear his complete — and very telling interview — please click on the audio link below.