NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — C’mon, you know you love it.
It was one of the worst decisions a New York sports franchise has ever made, but in this, the final season at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders refuse to pretend the “fisherman” logo era never happened.
In fact, they are embracing it and encouraging their fans to do the same.
The Islanders will be decked out in the vintage — and much maligned — jerseys they wore during the 1995-96 and ’96-’97 seasons during warm-ups before Tuesday night’s game against the visiting Florida Panthers.
Would the Islanders risk annoying their fans yet again if they were not one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference? That’s hard to say. But the fact remains the jersey is part of their history and since this season has been all about taking walks down memory lane, the Islanders are embracing it one final time.
“That crest sort of became emblematic of a very dark period in our history,” Islanders senior marketing manager Eileen Mathews told WFAN.com’s Peter Schwartz back in October. “We certainly understand and respect the feelings of the fans who lived through that era.”
Many of those fans would prefer to use the world “error” instead of “era.” But the Isles have chosen not to ignore that sliver of time, no matter how painful.
“We wore it in this building and there’s this new younger generation of fans who aren’t necessarily burdened by that history, and for them the logo has become something that’s cool,” Mathews said.
The team said the jerseys will be worn during warm-ups and then auctioned off for charity.
The Islanders (32-16-1) are currently in first place in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of Pittsburgh.