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The Official Site of the New York Islanders

Jersey debut event a success

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
The Islanders brand new Team Store at Nassau Coliseum was packed on Wednesday night as the organization held an exclusive event to unveil the team’s new third jersey. Mostly black, the jersey has a whole new style, but still carries through with tradition, keeping the orange, blue and white.

“They’re simple, but sharp,” Islanders forward Matt Moulson said of the jersey. “They’re creative. I think that’s what makes them so cool.”

John Tavares said of the jersey: “I always like to judge them during the game, when you see it in action. I think the black is a cool look and I think it definitely gives a good kind of feel. It’s got a little bit of design, but a little bit of the traditional. We’ll see how it matches, but my first impression is that I like it.”

Along with Moulson and Tavares, Mark Streit, Michael Grabner, Kyle Okposo, Mike Mottau, Mark Eaton and their families were all present at the Winter-Wear Wonderland event where they met with the fans, but also walked the catwalk to help model the new apparel as the radio voice of the Islanders, Chris King, emceed.

“If you couldn’t tell, (modeling) came pretty natural to me,” Moulson said jokingly. “My wife (Alicia) was a little shy. I don’t think she has a future in (modeling). She’s pretty, but I don’t think she’s got the runway personality. I might take the cake in our relationship on that one.”

While it was a fun and laid back, holding the event in the brand new Team Store just added to the experience. From the second fans walk through the doors, they’re hit with an authentic Islanders hockey experience.

A scaled-down version of the video board hanging from center ice hangs from the center of the waffle-board style ceiling. It carries the MSG feed throughout all Islanders home games, with the sound amplified throughout the store on hidden-away speakers. That way, if you’re taking a break from your seats to buy some new merchandise, you won’t miss a second of in-game action.

Fans that entered through the Box Office walk through a larger-than-life replica of the penalty box made from authentic dasher board and game-used Plexiglas. Inside the box, larger than life Islanders players are dressed in a home and road jersey.

Entering through the concourse, fans steps onto an exact replica of the center-ice logo, commemorating 40-years of Islanders history, before viewing all the store has to offer.

Kyle Okposo's fiance Danielle, Matt Moulson's wife Alicia, Michael Grabner's girlfriend Heather and son Aiden pose for a picture at the Islanders Winter-Wear Wonderland event at the Team Store inside Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011.
Not only is the store visually pleasing, they carry more merchandise than ever before. If you visited one of the team stores in the past, the most player t-shirts ever carried were five, now the store carries 13 different player tees. If you want to buy a hat, you now have three times the options, as the store carries 30 styles instead of 10.

“All the players looked pretty good and I liked some of the clothes they were wearing,” said 13-year-old Jack Powers of Floral Park. “I liked Moulson’s winter hat, the camouflage T-shirt Tavares had on and I liked the hat he was wearing too.”

Bonnie Rabin, 26, of West Islip, said: “I really liked the purple and white jersey with the Islanders logo. Sometimes you can’t really find things for girls and that was obviously for females, so I thought that was really cool.”

The store carries men’s, women’s and children’s apparel so the players’ wives, girlfriends and children attended the event to help model the new styles.

“I think my kids did a really great job,” Mottau said. “Ryan (age 6) was excited when I told him he was in a fashion show. He hammed it up a little bit. I was pleasantly surprised by how the girls (Rowan, age 4 and Madelyn, age 3) responded as well. They’re excited to get into the new Islanders gear. They didn’t know they were going up on stage until I told them, but they liked it.”

Grabner said, “It was a lot of fun getting Aiden (his 7 ½ month old son) in some gear.”

As a school teacher, Rabin said she liked the whole idea for the event and thought it was special that the players’ families were included.

Mark Eaton poses for a picture with his wife Dory and their daughters Kylie (age 6) and Adriana (age 3) during the Winter-Wear Wonderland event at the Team Store inside Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011.
“The kids were absolutely adorable,” Rabin said. “It was a real family event. There were so many kids here at the event so it’s nice the players brought their kids along also.”

While the jerseys came premade with Tavares, Moulson, Streit, Grabner and Okposo, the Team Store has a “personalization station,” so that you can purchase a new jersey and can get it customized with your name or a player’s name and number on the back, right there in the store.

The team will debut their Third Jerseys for the first time Nov. 23 when the Isles faceoff against the Philadelphia Flyers, in a Thanksgiving eve matchup with their Atlantic Division Rival.

“I really liked the black on the jerseys and that they kept the original blue and orange,” Rabin said. “I think they’re really cool. The colors just pop.”

Powers also liked that the team is offering a third jersey.

“We haven’t had a third jersey in a while,” Powers said. “I think it will be good for the team, kind of like a fresh start.”

With all the new items and apparel, whatever you’re looking for, you’re guaranteed to find it.

Note: All proceeds from the ticketed admission will be donated to the Islanders Children’s Foundation.

Ann Rina, the Islanders Community Relations Manager, said: “Tonight’s event went great. We had about 120 people inside the new team store. Everyone was looking at the new merchandise, and they were anticipating what the jersey would look like. When it came out I think everybody was very pleased with what they saw. The guys were great, signing autographs and taking pictures with all of the fans in attendance. Overall, the guys liked being there and showcasing the new merchandise and jersey. The fans appreciated the fact that we included them in an unveiling event as unique as this.”

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