Happy New Year! As we start a new year it’s hard not to be excited for everything #islesmeetups has become and where we will go in 2019! We ended the year on a high note as the leaders of the different meet-up groups, Yes Men Outfitters, and some of our original members were treated to a night we will never forget on Dec. 28. Our fearless leader, Jon Ledecky, is everything you have read about and more! It is safe to say that the New York Islanders are doing everything in their power to be a world class organization.

We had a little pre-game meet-up at Offside Tavern, which is a fantastic bar in the heart of NYC. It was nice to see so much orange and blue in the 718. The owner, Nick, is a diehard Islanders fan who has created an amazing atmosphere that all Isles fans need to experience. We took group photos and were about to hop on the subway to the Barc (which is conveniently located around the corner) when unannounced Jon walked through the front door all by himself. Every single person in the bar was greeted with a smile and handshake as Jon went around and snapped pictures and engaged in conversations. I’m not sure of another owner of a sports franchise that would do something like that and it made me realize how lucky were are to have him.

Although we all have negative opinions about the Barc, I will say that the suite level of that arena is one of the nicest ones you will see in all of sports. The 40/40 Club overlooks the ice so you can watch warmups as you have dinner and drinks and maybe even hang with Jay-Z and Beyonce. Once in the suite (which we shared with Al Arbour’s family) we were spoiled with an amazing spread of food, drinks, snacks, and Isles swag. We were even lucky enough to have Stan Fischler, Brendan Burke, and Sparky stop by during the game. To top off an epic night the product on the ice was fantastic and kicked off the tear the team is on now. I wish I could have brought every member of all the groups because without you showing up to our events we would never have gotten the attention of the organization, but I was happy I was able to show my appreciation to the 15 people that went and thank them for being with me since day 1.

Another amazing thing that has happened recently is our member, Mike Breeden, has arrived to his deployment in the Middle East and has been sending back amazing pictures of our flag flying above the base! Those that attended our November meet-up know how lucky we are to have such a brave and selfless individual part of our group! We send all our love and prayers to Mike that he returns safely to his loved ones and joins us for many more meet-ups in the future.

Now for some updates – we have three big events planned for the month of January and I am so pumped! Starting off we will have a meet-up for the Jan. 12 game vs the Rangers at The Upper Deck aka Offside Tavern South! This is a 1 p.m. game and we will have a 50/50 raffle as we continue to raise money for the Greiss Camp at Fort Bragg, which gives military children the opportunity to play the game we all love. Following the 50/50 drawing we will be raffling off signed Thomas Greiss items that Brittney Greiss was kind enough to donate. You must be in the 50/50 drawing to have a chance to win this amazing memorabilia so bring cash (three tickets for $5 or 15 tickets for $20) if you want in!

Then on Jan. 15 we have group tickets for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers vs Charlotte Checkers game. I have reserved 50 tickets to start and they are ONLY $2! We are lucky enough to have the Sound Tigers come to town during the Checkers 1950s night where there will be discounted concessions and a full house! To sweeten the pot we will also be able to go down to the tunnel to greet the Sound Tigers onto the ice after the first intermission! We did this for the games in December and it was a very cool experience that both the fans and players appreciated. I’m excited to do that again. There will be a custom link to purchase these tickets that will be posted on our social media platforms early in the week.

Lastly, on Jan. 18 our brothers in Islesmeetup_DMV and Yes Men Outfitters have organized a road game to DC for the Islanders/Caps game. Tickets are $63 and are extremely limited so act fast if you want to join us! Before the game there will be a pre-game meet-up @ Irish Channel that is sponsored by Oyster Bay Brewing Co. and will be your chance to get your hands on some delicious Barn Rocker! There is even an exclusive Yes Men Outfitters shirt that you can only get if you have tickets to the game and it is beautiful! Click here to purchase your tickets.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of our islesmeetups family over the years and I can’t wait for all that 2019 has in store for us! Let’s go Islanders! -Mike (@islesmeetup_CLT)

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