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Season Ticket Subscriber Party Brings Families and Players Together

Friday, 03.1.2013 / 9:41 PM ET / News
By Stephanie Schuyler
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Season Ticket Subscriber Party Brings Families and Players Together

The energy and excitement pulsating through the stands at Nassau Coliseum usually emanates from the ice, where the Islanders and a visitor are going head-to-head for 60 minutes of hockey. On Friday, the team dispersed throughout the stands while fans took center ice. Season ticket holders like Doug Johnstone and his son Daniel had the opportunity to skate on Coliseum ice, tour the dressing rooms and meet their favorite Islanders players at the 2012-13 New York Islanders Season Subscriber Party.

Doug Johnstone is a second generation season ticket holder with the Islanders, coming to games now with his son as he once did with his father. Being able to come to all of the games and meet the players is second nature to him now and is why he continues to renew his season tickets with the Islanders.

“The whole experience is great. It brings back memories,” Doug said. “Being able to watch my son experience what I experienced and even more – there is nothing better than this. I love getting to spend time with him and seeing the glow on his face when he is here.”

The Season Subscriber Party comes as a way for players to give back to  those loyal fans who make their way to Uniondale multiple times a week. This year's fun-filled event included Islanders mascot Sparky the Dragon and the Ice Girls, and consisted of an open skate, behind-the-scene tours, photos with center John Tavares and autographs from the Islanders players.

Doug began splitting season tickets with his father in 1990 and took over the account four years ago. He tries to bring Daniel to every game and has also brought his father to games, making it a family tradition.

Hockey is a way of life in the Johnstone family. The three generations have all played, Daniel now skating for the Icecats at Islanders Iceworks and hoping to get a chance to play in Orange & Blue for the Junior Islanders.

“Watching my dad play hockey and having the season tickets, I just adjusted to it,” Daniel said. “They got me to play hockey and now I love it.”

The Coliseum was filled with families sharing many of the same joys as Doug and Daniel. Islanders forward Colin McDonald remembers getting to meet the athletes he looked up to when he was younger.

“It was always nice to meet the players,” McDonald said. “I was a kid once too and I wanted to be a professional hockey player as I’m sure many of these kids do. It’s just nice meeting the players you look up to most off of the ice and on a more personal level.”

McDonald began playing hockey after watching his father Gerry McDonald play for the Hartford Whalers in the early 1980s. He says one of the best things about Friday’s event was being able to give back to the fans who are there supporting them at every game now.

“It’s pretty comforting to know how passionate they really are,” McDonald said. “I’ve heard how passionate Islanders fans are and I’ve been able to experience that on a more personal level after this, so it’s a pretty special night.”

For first year Islanders player Joe Finley, interacting with his fans made his night.

“I’m really enjoying getting this opportunity to shake a few hands, sign some cards and interact a little bit,” Joe said. “I remember a couple instances as a kid where I went to similar events. I think the most important thing for us is making sure that we spend time with everyone we can. These people are important. I really try to make sure everyone is taken care of.”

And that he did. The event embodied the team’s motto, “Orange & Blue + You,” giving season ticket holders hours of personal time with players and creating lifelong memories for the next generation of Islanders fans.




1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47


J. Tavares 46 17 19 -4 36
K. Okposo 47 12 24 -9 36
B. Nelson 49 20 11 1 31
F. Nielsen 49 15 16 -2 31
M. Grabovski 49 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 48 8 15 5 23
A. Lee 49 7 14 1 21
N. Leddy 49 3 16 -12 19
R. Strome 38 5 13 -6 18
N. Kulemin 49 5 9 6 14
J. Halak 12 10 4 .921 2.18
T. Greiss 13 6 2 .927 2.32
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