· By Spencer Hardegree
Silly Seagull Story
The incident happened on December 8, 1989, during a regular season game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The game was tied 1-1 in the third period when a seagull flew into the arena and landed on the ice. The players and officials were initially confused and unsure of what to do, as the bird was clearly out of place and in danger.
The players on the ice, trying to be helpful, attempted to catch the bird with their sticks and gloves, but the seagull proved to be more elusive than they anticipated. It flew around the rink, dodging players and even swooping down to steal a French fry from a fan in the stands. The bird's antics caused a delay in the game, as play had to be stopped multiple times while the players chased after it.
The crowd was initially amused by the unexpected interloper, but as the delay dragged on, they started to become restless. The Islanders' management decided to release the bird by opening the door of the rink, but the bird flew back inside. Finally, it was caught by an off-duty police officer who was attending the game. He released the bird outside the arena, and it flew away unharmed.
After the bird was caught, the game resumed, and it was ultimately won by the Islanders with a final score of 2-1. The incident was widely covered by the media and is still remembered as one of the most unusual interruptions in the history of professional hockey. The bird became a part of the Islanders folklore and was even mentioned in a song that was played in the arena during the games.