Ice removed from Nassau Coliseum for final time

Long Island is saying a season-long goodbye to the New York Islanders as they approach a move to Brooklyn. Stephen Brunt looks at how the Islanders have affected their community, and how Nassau Coliseum has hosted some of its most famous moments.

It’s the end of an era for the New York Islanders and their fans.

Nothing makes that more real than seeing the ice removed from the Islanders’ long-time hockey home, Nassau Coliseum, for the final time.

The Islanders played their last home game — a 3-1 win to force Game 7 — on April 25. They were defeated by the Capitals in Washington, cutting short what many hoped would be a farewell tour Stanley Cup run.

Bobby Cassidy, a Newsday videographer who covers the Islanders, tweeted several photos of the ice removal process, which took place Tuesday.

Built in 1972 to house the New York Islanders as an expansion team, Nassau was a fixture of the Long Island hockey community for 43 years.

It was also home to one of the greatest dynasties the NHL has ever seen — the Islanders were the first American team to win four straight Stanley Cups (1979-80 to 1982-83).

Known for its rowdy crowds, Nassau Coliseum was a rink loved by the players and fans and hated by opposing teams.

“Not too many teams enjoyed coming here [to the Coliseum],” Islanders captain John Tavares told the New York Post.

Photos: Last hurrah at Nassau Coliseum

“We want to bring that same kind of feel to next season,” Tavares said. “They don’t want to make Brooklyn a quiet building. They’re going to be loud, going to be rambunctious to break in the new digs.”

The building was often referred to as the “Mausoleum” because of its noticeable disrepair.

Gary Bettman even told a New York radio station in 2009 that, “There is probably no worse major-league facility right now in North America than the Nassau Coliseum.”

Next season, the Islanders begin a new era in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, which is also where the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets play.

Here’s a time lapse of the teardown:

Farewell, Nassau.

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