Larry Brooks, now writing columns on the Yankees when in the good ol' days of the early 2000s he might have been at the Stanley Cup Final, today in the Post has an update on the potential of an NHL game at Yankee Stadium.
Larry's article is fact-filled and unbiased.
So is the following:
The New York Islanders, and only the New York Islanders, started the process of looking into the possibility of having a hockey game at Yankee Stadium. This process started more than a year before the first word was ever written about it in the press. It began before there were plans for the Penguins and Sabres to play an outdoor game in Buffalo.
The initial reaction of everyone else in the National Hockey League? A roaring, bordering on snickering, chorus of Aerosmith's "Dream On." Their issue wasn't about the Islanders being part of the game. It was naysayers - the ones who didn't put in the effort to dream big and then try to make it happen - tsk-tsking, "The Yankees will never allow a hockey game at Yankee Stadium."
Meetings between the Islanders and Yankees went deep enough that an all-hands-on-deck session with several executives from each team met at Yankee Stadium. This meeting, held a little more than two years ago, was hosted by Yankees COO Lonn Trost, quoted in today's article in the Post.
I was at the meeting. I was blown away by Trost's sincerity and the commitment of the Yankees staff to see the hockey game become a reality. As a lifelong Yankees fan, I walked into it wondering if real progress could be made. I walked out of it three hours later saying to myself, "Holy crap, we're gonna play a frickin' hockey game at the cathedral in the Bronx."
It was always understood the Rangers would be part of the game.
And still, the reaction of everyone else in the game? It wasn't, "Hey, slow down. The Islanders don't have the right to move this process along." It was more along the lines of, "C'mon boys, stop it. You're killin' us. Ain't gonna happen."
I could take this a lot farther, but that will have to do for now. Probably took it too far already. In time I'd imagine the rest will come out elsewhere.
Bottom line: if anyone really believes Bruins-Rangers over Islanders-Rangers is a significant ratings difference-maker, I can't help you there. But anyone with an ounce of fairness and decency in their soul knows the New York Islanders should be part of any NHL event at Yankee Stadium.