Bring back the “WE WANT FISHSTICKS” because the fisherman jersey is back, and the Islanders are better off for it.
After years of pretending that era (or error as some fans would say) of Isles history never happened, the franchise has finally embraced it. In fairness, it has slowly been welcoming the Fisherman logo back into the fold for years.
Merchandise emblazoned with the once-maligned logo has been on sale in the team store at UBS Arena and the Islanders even wore a special jersey with the Fisherman on during warmups for a game in 2015. But now the team did what it should have done with the first interaction of the reverse retros and will fully embrace the Fisherman for six games this season.
The logo of course has been a point of derision with the older segment of the fan base, but younger fans, who don’t have the same negative memories of it, have taken a liking to it. As they say, what’s old is cool again and that has been the case with the Fisherman.
Even in the mid-90s when the ownership of the time — dubbed the Gang of Four — tried to change the logo as part of a wider league plan to modernize, it wasn’t as fool hearty as history has pegged them.
Was it a bit corny? Sure.
But did it miss the mark on its representation of Long Island? Not really.
Give credit where credit is due to Lou Lamoriello for allowing the team to have some fun with this reverse retro jersey, and owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin for embracing a logo that has divided a generation of Islanders fans.
It probably doesn’t hurt that the Fisherman jerseys will be a financial boom for the Islanders when they go on sale online and in the team store. And as Ledecky noted to amNewYork last week in an exclusive sit down, fans should be excited by that because more revenue means better things for the on-ice product.
Truth be told, looking back on the hatred of the logo in the 90s seemed silly, but for those that truly lived it there is some rational to it. It was one of the bleakest decades in franchise history and the memories associated with that time revolve more around the futilely on the ice and the teams’ uncertainty off of it.
However, those times are long gone and the team has been placed in the capable hands of Malkin and Ledecky. So there would seem to be no better time to revive the Fisherman to erase the ghosts of the past for good.
For more on the Islanders Fisherman uniforms, visit AMNY.com
Wouldn’t there be no better sense of irony than the Islanders doing something special in the year they brought back the Fisherman?
Now all they need to do is get Nyisles out of the Witness Protection Program.