Is plan in works to change New York Islanders name, colors?

04/10/2013 5:24 PM |

Are the New York Islanders considering changing their team colors and name? One Riverhead News-Review reader and hockey fan was left with that impression after he participated in a recent focus group.

The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said he took part in a session that raised the idea of dropping orange from the team’s jerseys and changing the team’s name to just “Islanders Hockey.”

The Islanders — who will move from Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for the 2015-16 hockey season — have publicly said they will keep their name and logo after the move.

“It was really about the move and about what kind of jersey they’re going to have,” the resident said of the focus group. “They were really pushing to lose the orange color and be like the old Brooklyn Dodgers.”

The fan said that though he was open to the change, all the other people in the focus group were against it.

“Everyone else was like ‘I hate it,’ ” he said. “People didn’t want any changes. Everyone loves it and no one wants [the jersey] to change.”

That’s a similar reaction a pair of Islanders fans interviewed by the News-Review had today. Tina Moore of Riverhead, whose Facebook cover photo is of Islanders star John Tavares,  said they “better not.”

“I sure don’t want the Rangers solely repping New York,” she said.

William Toth, a native of Southold whose Facebook profile photo is the traditional Islanders logo, compared such a drastic move to the mid-90s logo change.

“I think that will go over worse than when they changed the logo to the fisherman,” he said.

The fan who participated in the focus group said the other members of the session brought up the fisherman jerseys during the discussion. The jersey was met with backlash by the team’s fans and was changed two years later.

The resident said he was picked to participate in the survey after answering a timed questionnaire that asked specific Islanders trivia questions. He was paid $100 for his participation, he said.

The focus group, which he said was run by IC International, also asked how fans felt about teams with celebrity owners.

The resident said IC International, which is based in Hicksville, didn’t say they were working for the Islanders, but he added the questions clearly made the team the focus.

IC International, as well as a representative from the New York Islanders, could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

The resident who participated also said at least two people in the survey hoped the team would return to Nassau County after the end of their 25-year lease in the Barclays Center.

There was one opinion that seemed unanimous amongst the group, he said.

“Everyone felt that it wasn’t really the Islanders anymore,” he said.

psquire@timesreview.com

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