Click here to check out the Islanders TV video from the RE/MAX Open House with Scott Gordon.
Last week, new Islanders head coach Scott Gordon was introduced to the New York media. On Wednesday night, at the Islanders' RE/MAX Open House at Nassau Coliseum, he got his first chance to mingle with the fans.
Wednesday's event featured an open forum with Gordon, during which fans got the chance to ask the new coach questions. The questions ranged from Gordon’s style of play, to how he was going to return the Islanders to be a playoff contender—a question that drew applause from the crowd.
“I think it is important that players play the game to win and not to not lose,” said Gordon, when asked by a fan about his coaching philosophy. “It’s important to always stay on the attack and never back on your heels.”
As for the question about returning to the playoffs, Gordon repeated something at his press conference last week—and that is you have to enter the season confident.
“Every team has to go into the year thinking that they are going to win the Stanley Cup,” said Gordon. “But there are 29 teams that go in with that thought and don’t get it done, but you have to at least start the year with that being your first goal. You are not going to win every game, but you have to go in thinking that you can. It’s not about the players playing for the coach, it’s about the players playing for each other.”
The RE/MAX Open House also included the Islanders Community Events Tour that, along with its inflatable games, hosted forward Frans Nielsen
, who signed autographs and met his new coach for the first time.
“He seems like a great guy,” said Nielsen, “We were talking a little bit about the way he approaches the game and I am definitely excited about this year. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Someone who was having fun throughout the night, was 10-year-old Dean, who is from Roslyn. “I really liked the inflatable games and the chance to meet Sparky,” said Dean.
Following the open forum, an exclusive dinner with coach Gordon and Nielsen at the Backstage Café in the Coliseum was organized for fans who purchased ticket plans at the event.
Colleen, a longtime Islanders fan from Hauppauge, attended the Open House with her husband and family, and picked up the Matinee Plan—which includes all nine day games on the schedule. As an added bonus, fans who buy the Matinee Plan get a free hot dog and soda at each game for each ticket they purchase.
“With the food it makes it a little easier, and it’s not quite so bad on the budget,” said Colleen. “I’ve been an Islanders fan since the day I was born, I love it, and it’s Long Island, and it’s our only sports team.”
A unique focus group for ladies was also set up at the Coliseum. The group was designed to facilitate conversation between female Islanders fans to help improve their overall Coliseum experience. More than a dozen women took part in the group.
“As soon as I heard about it, I knew I wanted to be there,” said Christine, a die-hard Islanders fan who grew up in Hicksville and currently lives in New York City. “I have been watching the Islanders since I was 5 and have watched the development of this team and there are things I am happy about and things that I am unhappy about.”
One thing Christine was certainly happy about was how the focus group went.
“I think everyone thought it was a great idea,” said Christine, “and I believe it went so well, that we are going to do it again. I think it was a great outcome, I couldn’t have asked for better.” Ticket plans for the 2008-09 Islanders season are on sale now, with more choice and flexibility than ever before. To purchase a plan, click here or call 1.800.882.ISLES Ext. 1.