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Botta Drama Latest Black Eye for Isles Orginization | November
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photo credit:Islanders Point Blank

I’m guessing the week of November 15, 2010 will be one week the New York Islanders would like to forget. After firing their head coach Scott Gordon on Monday, the team has once again come under fire (deservingly) this time for pulling the credentials of popular blogger/writer Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank.

As one who has criticized Botta and a good portion of his writing in recent times, this is was a poor decision by a team that has made quite a few in recent history. As many know I’m not the biggest Chris Botta fan as of late due to posts such as this and this (in my opinion) unnecessary jab. Also other issues I have had with his analysis and such, but that does not change the fact he is one of the premier sources for Islanders news, up to the minute updates and his insight to the team is second to none due to his long standing history in the organization. He’s well respected through out the hockey community and like it or not he is one of the few media members in the area who actually cares about covering the Islanders. 

The Islanders organization is often the punch line to many jokes (whether fair or not) and when they took away Botta’s credentials they became an even bigger punch line to many.  The statement Media Relations director, Kimber Auerbach, gave was, “We funded his blog for the first year. When that changed he went from reporting the news to making the news.” He went on to tell Newsday, We have not stopped his blog. There are lots of bloggers out there who write from their homes, their couch, outside the arena. He just won't have access” The vague response left many questions unanswered and gave way for Botta’s explanation that it was a personal grudge that Garth Snow had with him that got him the boot.  

Since then there has been (mostly) an out poor of support for Botta from the fans of the Islanders and many hockey media personalities and not so much for the Islanders. It’s hard to tell what the real reason actually was, but we know who was in the wrong. The Islanders. Taking away Botta’s credentials did the team nothing but make them look bad.  I mean surely someone should have fore seen the backlash it would create, right?  The Islanders took away the credentials of a man who has a massive following and provides the most consistent coverage, next to Newsday, of this team. Whether they dislike what he has written is irrelevant, they should not have taken his credentials away. It merely gives credence to anyone to continue to make jokes about this organization and more importantly angers a fan base that has suffered through so much already. It has angered fans so much that articles like this one from IHB’s own Nick McGuire have become more and more prevalent. As well as this grass roots campaign by Fred Faust trying to let the organization how displeased fans are by using protests, walk outs, chants, etc.

Hopefully, this can all be hashed out by the right people and this will all go away. But for now this is another black eye for the Isles organization and no matter who is right or wrong in the end, for the next few days or weeks, the Islanders will face some of the biggest backlash from their fanbase they’ve seen in a long time. And trust me, it wont be pretty.