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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

The Floral Park Recreation Summer 2014 programs have now reached their half way point. While youngsters still have four more weeks of camps and activities, the night time volleyball and basketball programs are now gearing up for their final push to the playoff and championship rounds. Of the 55 adult teams competing, only Madness and Chaos (B league basketball) and Poppy’s (Women’s competitive volleyball) have managed to move through the season without a blemish on their records. Playoffs for volleyball are on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, while basketball quarterfinals begin Thursday, July 31. Family, friends and spectators are always welcome. Good luck to all teams and players during their quest to become Floral Park’s Champions of the Summer of 2014.

As in past years, the Floral Park Recreation Department sprinkled in some expert instruction along with the recreational format of the various camps. Many thanks go out to Lisa O’Grady (OLV volleyball coach) for presenting an excellent volleyball clinic for our beginning junior players. Once again, Nassau Community College football Coach Ed Mack and his players have volunteered their time to give a few pointers for all youngsters grades 4 and above on Wednesday, June 30. The junior football clinic kicks off at 8:30 a.m., while senior campers (grades 7 and above) will receive instruction beginning at 10 a.m. Some features will include pass and catch techniques and NFL style agility drills. All Floral Park youth entering grades 4 and above are invited to attend. At that same time, Chris Schneider, outstanding and championship basketball coach at both St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart, will be on hand to present a comprehensive basketball clinic for both our junior and senior future female basketball stars.

The 36th annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow-Wow will be held at the Queens County Farm Museum from Friday, July 25 through Sunday, July 27. It is the longest-running American Indian Pow-Wow and will feature three days of inter-tribal Native American Dance Competitions.

More than 40 Indian nations will be represented. Chanting, drumming and brilliantly-colored, finely-detailed regalia will provide stimulating entertainment for people of all ages. All dance competitions and performances will be narrated for your appreciation of the rich tradition and culture that is being shared. American Indian art and craft vendors will offer a unique array of times for shoppers.


Calendar

Theatre Box

Friday, August 1

E-Cycling Collection

Saturday, August 2

Floral Park Board of Trustees

Tuesday, August 5



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