Despite the fact that MSG Network has been running replays of New York Islanders games all summer with the team planning viewing parties for fans around them, it appears as though the controversy surrounding the next scheduled get-together for this Friday has won out and change is coming.
This Friday, the next Islanders replay was to be the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in February that saw 346 penalty minutes, 23 suspensions and a 9-3 scoreline in favor of the home team.
According to Stu Hackel of SI.com, there will be no celebration of that night; instead Islanders fans gathering at the Marriott across the parking lot from Nassau Coliseum will have to watch a different victory from two days after the brawl-filled game.
Here's the statement from the Islanders via Hackel:
"The New York Islanders have requested that MSG Network change the originally scheduled game to be viewed at the Friday, Aug. 19 meet-up. As a part of MSG Plus' Summer Ice programming, the schedule had the Islanders game from Friday, Feb. 11 against the Pittsburgh Penguins set to air at 7 p.m. Instead MSG Plus will air the Islanders 7-6 overtime victory on Sunday, Feb. 13 over the Buffalo Sabres."
Once news of this Friday's party began spreading outside of Long Island last week, the Islanders were demonized for holding the event even though it was MSG running the game and this was a continued part of the team's summer promotional schedule.
Earlier this week NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Kevin Allen of USA Today that, "We do not approve of the use, based on what we know."
We had no problems with the Islanders hosting this event. As we said, it was their event, for their fans celebrating a turning point for them last season. It was a great way to bring together the fanbase and celebrate a rout over a division rival and the night the team decided to push back after being pushed around for so long.
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