Call it a debut redux.
The Islanders will host the Devils in a preseason game at the Barclays Center on Sept. 21, the franchise and arena said Tuesday in a joint statement.
“We are delighted to give Brooklyn a sneak peak at its future hometown NHL team this September as we welcome the Islanders to Barclays Center for the first time. There’s a lot of excitement about professional hockey bound for Brooklyn, where the Islanders have a terrific opportunity to grow their fan base and build their brand,” Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said. “The team is showing great resurgence this season, with young star John Tavares, and is on the verge of making the playoffs. We’re proud to continue to bring top sports and entertainment to Barclays Center and we look forward to welcoming Brooklyn’s newest team.”
The game will be the first professional hockey game contested in the state-of-the-art arena, and the future home of the Islanders. The teams were scheduled to play a preseason game at the Barclays Center last October, but the game was cancelled due to the lockout.
During the lockout, the franchise and arena announced the Islanders will play their home games at the Barclays Center beginning in the 2015-16 season.
“Over the past 40 years, Nassau Coliseum has been one of the best buildings to attend and watch a hockey game. Our fans create an atmosphere that is second to none where you can feel the energy inside the Coliseum when the team makes a big play. I’m excited for our fans to bring that energy and have the ability to enjoy an Islanders game while taking advantage of the world class amenities at Barclays Center, that stand above and beyond what any other arena provides,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said in the statement. “This preseason game will be their first opportunity to do so. Our strong group of young talent is ready to take the ice in their future home, Barclays Center.”
Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on April 17 at the Barclays Center box office and on Ticketmaster.
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano has espoused growth as the theme throughout the season.
He has seen growth. Now, as the Islanders enter the final nine games of the regular season as the Eastern Conference No. 8 seed, he needs to see more in order for the team to clinch its first playoff berth since 2007.
“We talk about it. They know the position we’re in,” Capuano said following the morning skate at Nassau Coliseum. “They should be excited. They got themselves into the situation that they wanted to be in as a group. Now these last 27 periods are going to be tough and it’s going to be harder as you go.”
Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.