The hockey actuarial tables suggest that 10 years from now, GM Lou Lamoriello, coach Barry Trotz and most of the current Islanders players will be retired from the jobs they currently hold.
Who knows what the franchise will be like then? Maybe the Islanders will be perennial Stanley Cup contenders. Maybe they will return to chronic mediocrity.
Regardless, come 2031, we know one thing for certain, more than ever after the events at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday night: The people associated with the franchise, and those who follow it, still will be talking about these Islanders.
The ones who reached the second round of the playoffs three years in a row, and now have reached the league semifinals for the second year in a row after a 6-2 victory over the Bruins ended the team’s the second-round series.
The ones who if they make the playoffs next year will be able to say they were the designated home team in postseason games in five different arenas in two countries over four seasons — and thrived anyway.
The ones who, regardless of how far they go this season, already can say they produced the second-best era in the franchise’s half-century of competition.
That’s a lot. And it is worth at least pausing to consider before focusing on the immediate task, which is a rematch with the Lightning, who eliminated the Islanders in six games last summer in the Eastern Conference Final.
This era has been as good as local sports spectacles get, never more so than during another raucous night in Uniondale in which fans watched the favored Bruins unravel during a three-goal second period for the Islanders.
It was the second series in a row in which the Islanders fell behind 2-1, then won three in a row, with a closeout Game 6 victory at the Coliseum, which now will host at least two more Islanders games.
This sort of run is uncommon for any franchise, let alone one with a history of frustration before and after the glory days, which lasted approximately from J.P. Parise’s overtime goal on April 11, 1975, through the 1984 Stanley Cup Final.
So it has been great fun for fans, who have been pulled in multiple directions along with the players themselves as the nomadic search for a permanent home unfolded, complete with a COVID-19 detour to Canada.
The final piece of the uplifting narrative is the makeup of the roster itself, which has been remarkably stable for the modern free-agency era.
The fact 16 players were part of all four Cup teams in the early 1980s is shocking by 21st century standards, but the current stability is close.
Had not Anders Lee suffered a season-ending injury March 11, there would be even less change. Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac almost certainly would not have been acquired in a trade.
Zajac scored the Isles’ first goal and Palmieri their fourth, a pair of former Devils contributing to the team Boston coach Bruce Cassidy famously referred to as the “New York Saints” after Game 5. (Fans regularly chanted “New York Saints” all night.)
The second and third goals were scored by Brock Nelson, a franchise fixture with graying hair.
These Islanders are the opposite of the superstar Nets assemblage currently running roughshod over the NBA.
They bonded while schlepping to Brooklyn, then going back to the Coliseum, then living in bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton. They bonded while practicing in Syosset, then moving to East Meadow.
No matter how this season concludes, reality looms on the horizon. There is an expansion draft ahead, and the veteran core is certain to start breaking up in two or three or four years.
That is what makes the current circumstances so interesting, and so special. Now it is on to Tampa to face the defending Stanley Cup champions and the best goaltender in the world in Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Should be entertaining. But no matter the outcome, folks will be talking about these games and this team in 2031 and beyond.
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