Though the New York Islanders currently skate at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the New Jersey Devils continue to reference the Nassau Coliseum. The Devils recently took a poke at their NHL rival’s former Nassau County home during a preseason matchup across the Hudson River. The New Jersey franchise even sent a fake correspondent out to Uniondale to create a videotaped tongue-in-cheek jab of the Long Island arena, which subsequently aired at the Prudential Center.
The Devils’ Coliseum gag was shown during the Islanders game on Sept. 25 when a sudden bulletin flashed across the scoreboard at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. An accompanying banner read, “News Live From The Nassau Coliseum.” A reporter appeared holding a microphone while standing in the parking lot of the arena, now closed for renovation. According to one story published Sept. 28, 2015 by foxsports.com staff, “Devils take shot at deserted Nassau Coliseum, Islanders,” the phony journalist described “hearing nothing but crickets outside the vacant building,” as a few tumbleweeds blew by.
The airing of the bogus news bulletin, at the Rock and on the Devils website, suggests the Isles could be searching for a fan base after exiting from the Nassau Coliseum after 43 years. In a related item, the caption of one piece published by New York’s cbslocal.com on Sept. 28, 2015, “’Reporter Live Shot’ Pours Salt in Wound of Many Isles Fans Sad over Relocation,” points out how Islander loyalists “ripped” the Prudential Center joke on twitter.
But the Islanders departure from the Coliseum continues to be a controversial topic among hockey fans in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Whether or not that will affect box office receipts at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center remains to be seen. The Islanders first regular season faceoff against the Devils will be on Oct. 31 in New Jersey.