Neil Best Newsday columnist Neil Best

Neil Best first worked at Newsday in 1982, then returned in 1985. His SportsWatch column debuted in 2005.

It's not as if the Islanders are moving to Kansas City or Quebec City, after all, even if some current fans consider a schlep to downtown Brooklyn only somewhat more convenient.

So the team faces a delicate challenge in how to mark -- and market -- its final season in Nassau County.

On one hand, the goal is a seamless transition that retains fans as well as the franchise's historical narrative.

On the other, attention must be paid to the past four decades, the sort of championship history the Islanders' soon-to-be Brooklyn basketball brethren did not have to worry about when they said goodbye to New Jersey.

"It's certainly going to look back and celebrate the past and also connect it to the current team," senior marketing manager Eileen Mathews said of the marketing, promotional, merchandise and advertising initiatives to come.

The Brooklyn end of the operation is charged with getting everyone ready for the inaugural season there in 2015-16, but in the meantime, there is much to do on the eastern front.

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"Lots of good stuff coming up," Mathews said of a plan with the theme "We Play for You."

"It's all about acknowledging our fans who have been here for 43 years," she said.

The Islanders will stage ceremonies honoring six stars from the Stanley Cup era, giving away mini locker stalls tied to each. The fall slate has Bill Smith on Nov. 22, Denis Potvin on Nov. 29, Bobby Nystrom on Dec. 6 and Clark Gillies on Dec. 13. Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy will be honored early in 2015.

The Islanders also plan to celebrate current players John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin to help remind everyone that life will go on next autumn.

Also ahead this winter: a night in which, during warm-ups, players will wear a modernized version of the notorious "fisherman" logo that debuted in 1995, after which the jerseys will be auctioned off for charity.

T-shirts and hats with the fisherman logo are available for purchase by fans.

Um, shouldn't the Islanders be trying to forget that logo?

"It's part of our history," Mathews said. "I saw probably five to 10 people in Brooklyn wearing that jersey. I think it's gotten a cult following."

She said younger fans particularly seem to like it. That presumably is because they don't remember the first time around.

The team's "Tradition on Ice" emblem, featuring an image of the four Stanley Cups and the years 1972-2015, is to appear on jerseys, hats, T-shirts and other items.

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For the final home game, players will wear replicas of the jersey style from the inaugural season of 1972-73, an item fans will be able to purchase later this season.

Fans also will be invited to participate in promotions asking them to select the 15 greatest players in team history and the five best moments at the Coliseum.

Whether fans embrace all the looks back, to the exclusion of the current season, obviously depends largely on how well the 2014-15 Islanders perform on their way out the door.

The marketing department is hoping for the best of both worlds. "We want to be sensitive to the fact there is still a really good team," Mathews said. "It's not the end of the Islanders' story at all."