WOODBURY - The Islanders will be able to opt-out of their 25-year contract at Brooklyn's Barclays Center in just three years, and the news has fans hoping the team will return to Long Island.
According Newsday, there is a clause in the contract between the Islanders and the Barclays Center that could spring the team from the deal after three seasons, meaning they could return as early as the fall of 2018.
Many Long Island residents say they miss the four-time Stanley Cup champions, even fans of the rival New York Rangers. Critics say the Brooklyn arena is not a perfect match for a hockey team.
Rumors suggest that the Islanders could eventually return to their former home in the Nassau Coliseum - after it's renovated - or move to a new home near Citi Field in Queens. During the Coliseum's renovation thus far, 2,000 seats have been removed, leaving it short of the minimum required by the NHL. For the Islanders to come back, seats would have to be put back in.
In his 2015 State of the County address, Nassau Executive Ed Mangano announced plans to build a practice facility for the team in Hicksville.
"This facility will cement the Islanders in Nassau and provide hope that we will witness their full-time return when they see the magnificent new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum," he said at the time.
Both sides have until Jan. 30, 2018 to deliver their opt-out notice in writing.