The Islanders added seven more dates to their Nassau Coliseum home schedule, the team announced on Monday.
The news came as the team was breaking ground on their new arena at Belmont Park. Among the dates being moved from Barclays Center to Long Island are the Islanders’ two home games against the New York Rangers on Jan. 16 and Feb. 25.
Their Oct. 6 game vs. Winnipeg, Oct. 8 vs. Edmonton, Oct. 27 vs. Philadelphia, Jan. 2 vs. New Jersey and Jan. 6 vs. Colorado have also been moved to Nassau Coliseum.
Newsday was first to report the news and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement while speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had been instrumental in negotiating a deal to have the Islanders play some home games at Nassau Coliseum prior to their full-time return.
“The Governor has made it a priority to tell me how important it was that we begin the transition back to Long Island for the Islanders even sooner,” Bettman said. “Because I know it’s that important to the Governor and because we have had confidence in him every step of the way, the Islanders are going to play seven more games at the old Nassau Coliseum.”
The added seven brings the Islanders total to 28 games taking place at the Nassau Coliseum and 13 at Barclays Center. The announcement came after months of speculation that more games would be added to the Nassau schedule.
“It’s nice for guys with families,” Brock Nelson said about the games at the Coliseum. “Myself now with kids, being able to kind of be home and make a couple of games now, that means a lot for us as players.”