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Are the Islanders causing Déjà vu for James Dolan?

This must seem like Déjà vu for James Dolan; CEO of Cablevision, Executive Chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company and most importantly owner of both the Knicks and the Rangers. Dolan is fighting once again to keep a small market team from overtaking his beloved New York City. With the New York Islanders set to move to Brooklyn starting in the 2015-16 season, Dolan needs to make sure his Rangers don’t play second fiddle to the up and coming Isles in the near future.

Although the move is still 2 years away, the Isles seem to be progressing at a faster rate than the Rangers, especially coming off that inspiration 6 game series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in last year’s opening round of the playoffs. The Rangers exited to the Bruins in a disappointing showing in the second round of the playoffs, setting off a chain reaction in firing John Tortorella and hiring Alain Vigneault.

Newly anointed captain, John Tavares will be the cornerstone for the Isles for a long time coming. After being the laughingstock of the NHL for the past decade, the Isles are now seen as a serious contender for the Eastern Conference. There is no doubt that as of right now (the year 2013), New York City still belongs to the Rangers. However, with the young pieces surrounding the Isles, this year is pivotal for the Rangers to make their mark.

Although this feud is not between Dolan and Russian Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov; it still has Dolan looking over his shoulder. Yes, the Rangers are New York’s team, playing in the ‘World’s Most Famous Arena’, however Barclays Center is slowly approaching MSG territory, even hosting more concerts and events than any other venue last year. The Rangers need to take advantage of their last 2 years before the Isles move to Brooklyn in order to keep their entire fan base. This should be a very interesting hockey season, especially with the stoppage for the Olympics in the winter. New York is certainly big enough for 2 teams, however Dolan does not like to lose especially when it comes to business.

Justin Lerner: PureSportsNY

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