Brooklynites pining for a professional hockey team might have to fuhgettaboutit.
While the Islanders may well abandon Nassau County when its Coliseum lease expires in 2015, Brooklyn is not in their future, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told Associated Press sports editors.
Bettman said it would be too difficult for the team's Long Island fan base to reach the new Barclays Center, which sits atop a Long Island Railroad terminal and several subway lines.
Nevertheless, the Islanders will be the first professional team to play at Barclays this fall, ahead of the Brooklyn Nets, when they face the New Jersey Devils in a preseason game on Oct. 2. January's announcement of that game renewed speculation that the club — backhanded by Nassau voters, who last year rejected a $400 million referendum for a new area — might relocate to Brooklyn.
Bettman said the league was helping the Islanders explore their options "in the metropolitan area" and that moving the team to outside the New York area was not currently being considered.