The New York Islanders have just become the first professional sports team to have an official tattoo parlor. The once storied franchise dominated the NHL in the early 1980s, winning four consecutive Stanley Cups, but it’s been all downhill ever since. The team hasn’t won a playoff round in nearly twenty years, and the city just turned down its request for tax dollars to fund a new stadium. Nassau Coliseum is widely considered the worst arena currently home to a major sports team, but on the bright side, at least now fans will be able to get tributes to Mike Bossy during intermissions.

On ten home dates next season, Tattoo Lou’s will set up a booth offering artwork and body piercings, as well as jewelry and other collectibles. Both the team and the business itself are citing the partnership as a historic boon for the ink industry. Founder Lou Rubino released a statement to ESPN outlining how happy he is to have joined the Islanders family…
This is another victory for the tattoo industry. For a long time, tattoos were frowned upon, but now we've become more and more mainstream. One of the main things I love about this partnership is the history the Islanders have. My dad opened his first shop in 1958. We're a part of Long Island history just like the Islanders."

It seems strange that a hockey team would lead the way with such a partnership considering its players are far less inked than either NBA or NFL stars, but nonetheless, as a man with five tattoos, I still endorse these businesses joining forces. I just wish the future of the Islanders wasn’t so in doubt. With the team’s lease up in 2015 and no firm commitment to sign on for more years, there is a definite possibility the team may move as close as Brooklyn or as far as Canada in a few seasons. That makes the idea of getting an Islanders tattoo a little more worrisome, but something tells me that won’t stop the diehards. Besides, if twenty year old John Tavares fulfills his potential before 2015, taxpayers may push a little harder to keep the Isles around.



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