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Blast From The Past: Islanders Open Team Store At Cantiague

Championship teams from 1980-83 practiced at Nassau County’s Cantiague Park

During the four years that the New York Islanders practiced at Nassau County’s Cantiague Park in the early 1980s, the organization took home four Stanley Cups.

The team, following its last Stanley Cup title in 1984, relocated to several different practice rinks throughout Long Island but hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of those Cantiague teams since.

Islanders Pro Shop Manager Tim Murray knows all about those four historical seasons, having worked at the Cantiague Park Pro Shop from 1980-84 while attending nearby C.W. Post University.

In addition to holding practices at Cantiague, the team would also host a majority of its functions at the rink – a significant exposure opportunity for young hockey fans in Nassau County.  

“The team used to host training camp, rookie games, prospect games [at Cantiague] and back then the Islanders used to play the Rangers, the Hartford Whalers, the Devils. They’d bus in and the Islanders’ prospects would play the prospects of those other teams,” said Murray.

Aspiring hockey players from the area now have another chance to experience the benefits of having an affiliation with a pro hockey club at their home rink.

“From the Islanders’ standpoint, we look at Nassau County being our home base. Nassau County’s hockey program boasts about 600 boys and girls that are registered to play in their hockey programs. Now we partner up for them and we give them a professional pro shop, which they haven’t had since those Cup runs,” Murray added.

In addition to its new team store (located inside the pro shop at Cantiague Park Ice Rink at 480 West John Street in Hicksville), the Islanders plan to host clinics with professional players and coaches throughout the year, including one during the store’s grand opening ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 11:30 a.m. With the rink’s recent renovation, which included new boards, glass and lighting, young skaters now have a premier ice hockey facility close to home.

“As part of this grand opening, we’re bringing down a player and one of our coaches and we’re going to give them a clinic. They’re going to get the advantage, the kids in these programs, that several times a year, the Islanders players and coaching staff will get involved with clinics for the children of Nassau County,” Murray explained.

Though the National Hockey League and its players are currently working toward a new collective bargaining agreement in order to avoid a lockout for the upcoming season, the Islanders have shown a commitment to their fans and the hundreds of aspiring young hockey players nearby.   

“It’s just another way, besides offering the services that come with skate sharpening and having equipment right there at the rink with that kind of convenience, that the team is reaching out in its grassroots efforts to the kids who play hockey in Nassau County,” Murray said.

For more information on the Islanders team store or the Cantiague Park Ice Rink, call (516) 571-7056.

News

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, residents and community members joined with the Floral Park American Legion to honor veterans at the annual Veteran’s Day ceremonies at Memorial Park, following a march down Tulip Avenue to the park with the members of the veterans of the Legion post, American Legion Auxiliary members, Sons of the American Legion, Boy and Cub Scouts from Troops 482 and 678 and local officials.

During the ceremony, a plaque was dedicated in memory of General Kazimierz Pulaski and others of Polish heritage who have served in the U.S. military. The plaque dedication was led by members of the Polish American Congress, Long Island Division, President Grzegorz Worma and Honorary President Richard Brzozowski. An invocation was delivered by Father Peter Rozek of St. Hedwig Church, followed by a POW-MIA ceremony by Post 334 Vice Commander Matthew Cacciatore.

While parking around Long Island Rail Road train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town.

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Calendar

Chris Deeks Memorial Alumni Game

Friday, November 28

Floral Park AARP Christmas Luncheon

Monday, December 1

Stewart Manor Board of Trustees Meeting

Monday, December 1



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