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Red Light’s Stu Hackel points out how absurd it was/is for the Islanders to revoke Botta’s credential, seeing as he’s one of the only sources of news for the club. Judging by the harsh comments on his post, the readers – who give Islanders Point Blank 1.5 million page views a month – agree. Hackel even calls for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to moderate the PR disaster.
Steve Lepore has even harsher words for the team:
The Islanders should not be revoking Botta’s credentials, they should be begging him to come back. Not just for getting on Mike Francesa, or the few other TV and radio shows that gave Botta airtime on Thursday. He has done a better job than almost anyone in the hockey universe to get people to pay attention to a team that has not been worth paying attention to for many, many years. They have not advanced past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in what is now closing in on two decades. They needed a new building two decades ago, too. Fact is, Botta’s writing is deserving of a much better team.
As for Botta? He’s still posting, albeit in a neutered manner: “Welcome back, and thanks to everyone out there from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know what’s next, but it kinda looks like that Islanders-Panthers morning skate news-and-notes post is out of the question for now. I’ll deliver what I can.”