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Blast From The Past: Islanders Open Team Store At Cantiague

Championship teams from 1980-83 practiced at Nassau County’s Cantiague Park

During the four years that the New York Islanders practiced at Nassau County’s Cantiague Park in the early 1980s, the organization took home four Stanley Cups.

The team, following its last Stanley Cup title in 1984, relocated to several different practice rinks throughout Long Island but hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of those Cantiague teams since.

Islanders Pro Shop Manager Tim Murray knows all about those four historical seasons, having worked at the Cantiague Park Pro Shop from 1980-84 while attending nearby C.W. Post University.

In addition to holding practices at Cantiague, the team would also host a majority of its functions at the rink – a significant exposure opportunity for young hockey fans in Nassau County.  

“The team used to host training camp, rookie games, prospect games [at Cantiague] and back then the Islanders used to play the Rangers, the Hartford Whalers, the Devils. They’d bus in and the Islanders’ prospects would play the prospects of those other teams,” said Murray.

Aspiring hockey players from the area now have another chance to experience the benefits of having an affiliation with a pro hockey club at their home rink.

“From the Islanders’ standpoint, we look at Nassau County being our home base. Nassau County’s hockey program boasts about 600 boys and girls that are registered to play in their hockey programs. Now we partner up for them and we give them a professional pro shop, which they haven’t had since those Cup runs,” Murray added.

In addition to its new team store (located inside the pro shop at Cantiague Park Ice Rink at 480 West John Street in Hicksville), the Islanders plan to host clinics with professional players and coaches throughout the year, including one during the store’s grand opening ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 11:30 a.m. With the rink’s recent renovation, which included new boards, glass and lighting, young skaters now have a premier ice hockey facility close to home.

“As part of this grand opening, we’re bringing down a player and one of our coaches and we’re going to give them a clinic. They’re going to get the advantage, the kids in these programs, that several times a year, the Islanders players and coaching staff will get involved with clinics for the children of Nassau County,” Murray explained.

Though the National Hockey League and its players are currently working toward a new collective bargaining agreement in order to avoid a lockout for the upcoming season, the Islanders have shown a commitment to their fans and the hundreds of aspiring young hockey players nearby.   

“It’s just another way, besides offering the services that come with skate sharpening and having equipment right there at the rink with that kind of convenience, that the team is reaching out in its grassroots efforts to the kids who play hockey in Nassau County,” Murray said.

For more information on the Islanders team store or the Cantiague Park Ice Rink, call (516) 571-7056.

News

Maybe not a scene from the rap song video, Thrift Shop, but the popular spot in Floral Park to score some of the best deals on lightly used goods and clothing, the United Methodist Church’s Thrift Shop, was just as exciting to watch when it re-opened to customers for the season. The thrift shop re-opened on Wednesday, Sept. 3 after being closed for the summer for restocking, cleaning and organizing the shelves and racks.

Thrift Shop Manager Dolores Rossi said more than nine volunteers helped throughout the summer to get the shop back into top shape for its re-opening, including her 17-year-old grandsons, Andrew Rossi of Floral Park and Jake Kennedy of New Hyde Park.

In 1963, Sewanhaka High School alumni and Floral Park resident, Adele Werthmuller pulled out her yearbook. She was on a mission and began paging through the pictures and names of her beloved classmates. She decided to look through the phone book for familiar names. She said, “I kept in contact with many of my girlfriends so I started looking for the men first.”


Calendar

Floral Park Memorial High School Class of 1964

Friday, September 12

Bellerose Village Day

Saturday, September 13

34th Annual Antique Motorcycle Show

Sunday, September 14



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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