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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 1983, 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 kids may be grown. The marriage may have not worked out. Perhaps retirement affords more free time than was anticipated.

Enter The Transition Network, an national social group featuring an active chapter on Long Island that meets regularly at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library.

Judy Forman, Plainview resident and program co-chair, noted that The Transition Network is an organization of women ages 50 and over who are ‘transitioning’ into the next phase of their lives — whether it be retirement, divorce, losing a loved one or so on — and helping them to meet new people while expanding their horizons.  

Plainview resident Cila Schlanger was eager to attend a two-hour property tax workshop at the Farmingdale Public Library last week — the problem is, so were many other people.

“I was taken aback once I came here because there was such a line,” she said. “I thought it would be a two-hour workshop, but individuals had to wait to be helped on a first come, first serve basis.”

Residents are trying to save a buck whenever and wherever they can, especially when it comes to property taxes. To try and lend a helping hand, elected officials recently hosted a property tax exemption workshop at the library, drawing residents from across Nassau County.


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