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Barclays Center CEO makes case for Isles

The main entrance of the Barclays Center under

The main entrance of the Barclays Center under construction. (Feb. 22, 2012) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center and the Nets, said on WFAN Monday morning that the new arena is a viable venue for the NHL and thus a potential future home for the Islanders.

"I think so," he said. "Obviously, we're going to test it a little bit in the fall on Oct. 2 when the Islanders play the Devils [in a preseason game], and we're very excited about it. Within the first two weeks of tickets going on sale, we sold over 6,000 seats, so there is a built-in fan base in Brooklyn and we can accommodate NHL-quality hockey at the Barclays Center and we're excited about it."

The Islanders' lease with Nassau County expires in 2015. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday during a meeting with The Associated Press Sports Editors that Nassau Coliseum "is not a place that will be housing the Islanders any longer than their lease requires."

Yormark said the building will seat "close to 15,000" fans for hockey. "They're great seats for hockey," he said. "So far, the feedback we've gotten has been extremely positive. You've got the Long Island Rail Road coming to the foot of the building, so very accessible to the fan base that currently exists. And we're excited about the possibilities. We're exploring it. We're discussing it internally and I think it's viable."

The NHL said Monday that the league's point of view on the issue was made clear by Bettman on Friday.

Regarding Brooklyn as a possible landing place for the Islanders, Bettman said: "Barclays, I suppose, on some level, is an option. But I'm not sure how effective it can serve the fan base that principally is in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens. It's not that easy to get to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. So it's not anything that's been focused on, other than the Islanders are going to play a preseason game there.''

The Islanders did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Moulson Lady Byng finalist

Islanders wing Mark Moulson is a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy, which is awarded for skillful and gentlemanly play. Moulson had 36 goals, 33 assists and only six penalty minutes this season.

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