This week the Islanders welcomed everybody from Bryan Trottier to Petr Mika back for Alumni Weekend. Which somehow became a controversial idea, thanks Twitter. This was a great weekend for the Islanders and will hopefully lead to many more positive experiences for fans. In terms of reaching the fanbase it looks like Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have bought into the Islanders and are looking to create a positive culture within the organization (off the ice). Weekends like this go a long way to making it special to be an Islander. For years nobody wanted to be part of this organization, now ownership is doing what they can to make it special.
Unfortunately, the dynasty ended over 30 years ago, it is time that the Islanders start adding other players to events like this. It sounds ridiculous talking about first round playoff series’ but those are the memories many fans have, and to ignore that is frustrating. When I was young I rooted for guys like Mick Vukota, Pat Flatley and Steve Thomas so it was real good to see them come back. As great as the Dynasty Era was, fans my age and younger have almost no connection to them outside of stories. It’s time the Islander recognize players from all eras of their history. Everybody grew up with favorite Islanders, I’m sure there was someone excited to see Mark Parrish, Dave Scatchard or even Yan Denis. For someone to make the point they were not important enough to be a lifelong Islander is short sighted. This organization needs all the goodwill it can get. Every fan has a reason why they became an Islander fan and any of the guys on the ice Saturday could have been that reason.
With other organizations have issues with their former players, notably the Mets now feuding with Darryl Strawberry, I enjoy the fact that the Islanders will welcome anybody who has ever been an Islander, to an event like this. After seeing the first-year event, I would guess many more players will come in the future seeing how everyone was treated by the organization. I would hope that no former Islander shows hesitation on accepting the invitation to join this event in the future. Except Kirk Muller.