From Stanley Cups to Conference Championships, Conference titles, retired numbers, and commemorative banners, there are plenty of accolades hanging from the rafters at UBS Arena to commemorate the achievements throughout the history of the New York Islanders. The same accolades were present at Nassau Coliseum before the Islanders moved to their new arena at Belmont, however, what wasn’t present outside of the Ol’ Barn was a commemorative honor outside the arena. Now that the Islanders are firmly planted on Long Island and in their new zip code, it seems like the right time to honor the past in the form of a statue outside the new state-of-the-art arena.
This isn’t a new concept by any means. Plenty of NHL arenas have commemorative statues present outside of their arenas. Outside of TD Garden, the home of the Boston Bruins is graced with the presence of Bobby Orr mid-flight commemorating the famous flying goal he scored in 1970. The Chicago Blackhawks have a few statues outside the United Center in the form of Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, and even a 75th Anniversary Statue depicting different eras throughout the ‘Hawks’ history. “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, even has statues in two countries, one outside Rodgers Arena, home of the Edmonton Oilersand one outside of Crypto.com Arena, home of the Los Angeles Kings. Heck, even the Anaheim Ducks have a statue outside of Honda Center in the form of The Anaheim Duck AKA “Wild Wing” dedicated to the fans, players, and team management after “25 seasons of dedication.”
The 50th anniversary of the Islanders is set to be celebrated all season long in the second year of UBS Arena’s tenure. It’s time the Islanders sculpted and planted an honorary statue of their own outside of their new home. The question is, who receives the honor first, and could it be more than one?