When tix to the first half of the regular season go on sale exclusively at the Coliseum at 11:00 am on Saturday, Sept. 8, there's going to be a great crowd there. It could be the biggest and most passionate since 2001, when there was a lot of buzz when Charles gave the go-ahead to start investing in talent and Peca, Yashin and Aucoin were acquired, followed later by Ozzy through the waiver draft.
Sept. 8 should be a lot of fun at the Coliseum because I can't remember when the team had so many potential sellout games so early in the season.
The home opener on 10/8 will be jam-packed as Billy Guerin makes his debut as Islanders captain, Ms. Brinkley drops the puck and the new-look Islanders and Sabres battle.
Two days later is Kids Opening Day, which will be as good as it gets for families taking in a major league game. Last year was the start, but most people didn't realize how great an event it was going to be. The secret is out, so expect a sellout for the Columbus Day matinee against Ovechkin and the Caps.
The Islanders host the Rangers on Oct. 10 in the third home game of the season, so the Islanders could get the hat trick of three capacity crowds to start the season.
The franchise is hosting a trio of "Appreciation" nights that should be a lot of fun and add some buzz to already good games. There will be a collector series of caps each night. I've seen the samples and they look fantatstic.
Firefighter Appreciation Night is Saturday, Oct. 20 when Brent Sutter returns to the Coliseum with his Devils. In honor of our heroic firefighters, the Islanders will be giving away a special red Islanders cap with the date on the back. Cap #2 is for Law Enforcement Appreciation Night (navy blue caps) on Saturday, Oct. 27 against Carolina and #3 is for Military Appreciation Night on Saturday (yep, a green military-style hat) for Saturday, Nov. 10 against the Devils.
And then there's Al Arbour Night, #1,500 on Saturday, Nov. 3 against Sidney and the Penguins. I can't remember the last time I got so many calls during the summer looking for help buying tickets months later. Get there early on Sept. 8 (or buy a ticket plan) to have any hopes of snagging seats for that one.