One of the nice aspects of the annual New York Islanders Draft Party is the 'behind the scenes' arena tour they give the public on draft night. The fans are allowed access to the team tunnels, changing room, trainer's room, and Hall of Fame area in the hallway.
Most of these areas are routinely ignored by the media and bloggers. For us they are just spaces in which to conduct player interviews and for speaking with members of Islanders management. For fans, though, especially younger ones, seeing these spaces can be a treat.
Since it was open we availed ourselves of the chance to go on the tour (minus the annoyingly long line) and saw what's new and improved in the arena's bowels. Many of the upgrades shown below have taken place since mid-April, the end of last season. And though most of the changes were slight, we're glad we roamed around. We snapped some photos and added some (hopefully) informative descriptions next to each. Click on any of the images to make them larger.
In case you haven't heard, the Islanders will be going back to their classic style sweaters next season. Here are the *great looking* home blues laid out in the dressing room.
Here is this blog's namesake modeling the new white road version on the arena scoreboard during the draft party.
As the players enter, they are greeted by a magnetic board on which the current standings are updated each day. We can only hope that this is an accurate prediction of the 2010-2011 Eastern Conference standings!
A new "Smart" board has replaced the old whiteboard to assist coaches in the player's dressing room.
The team has updated the "honors" board in the hallway immediately outside of the Isles' dressing room. Not shown are the nine plaques on the wall to the right which list the accomplishments of each member of the Islanders Hall of Fame.
Hopefully the team will need to update this dressing room display in the near future. We've been saying that for a while now, though. Maybe our recent drafts have brought us closer to that reality.