Nassau Could Earn Minor League Hockey Team

The American Hockey League could move to updated LI arena once the Isles move to Brooklyn.

With the New York Islanders prepped to sail west to Brooklyn in 2015, speculation has already started on who - if anyone - would play in the revamped Nassau Coliseum.

The Coliseum is slated to get a makeover from Bruce Ratner, though further approvals are still necessary and in Nassau County, that's hardly a guarantee.

One possibility: The American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders top minor league affiliate, could move across the Long Island Sound to this area.

Ratner himself pointed to the possibility of AHL hockey in Uniondale last week, and more specifically to the Sound Tigers moving.

In response to a question from a New York Hockey Journal reporter, Ratner said "It is going to be the Sound Tigers, assuming they come to a good agreement with this landlord here ... We have to come to an agreement with Mr. [Charles] Wang, but I don’t see that as an issue."

But don't go buying blue and orange Sound Tigers shirts just yet. The Bridgeport team, which plays right next to the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson dock, has a lease through 2021. Team owners said they've made no motion to leave southwestern Connecticut.

The Connecticut Post caught up with Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan, who said the AHL is committed to Bridgeport. Whether that means the Sound Tigers would stay there or another team would move to Bridgeport if the Sound Tigers vacated the premises is unclear.

The New York Rangers have their minor league team in Hartford and recently inked a three-year lease there, the Post said, adding that the New Jersey Devils farm team in Albany has two years left on a lease.


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