It's safe to say that the New York Islanders are all for class participation. From their famous Blog in a Box, to the numerous fan articles that they publish through various mediums, there's no doubt that they love to hear what the public has to say. In another very unique move, the Islanders have acquired an internet fan forum to become the team's official message board/fan forum/gripe fest for their website.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but it is believed that the team has traded Andy Hilbert and a third round pick in 2008 in exchange for the rights to call the forum, Islander Mania, their own.
All kidding aside, this is certainly an interesting step that the team has taken. If you're not familiar with the situation, the folks over at Islander Mania have been doing a bang up job of hosting arguably the most popular website to talk Islanders on the internet for nearly a decade now. This past Sunday, the crew officially announced that they are going to become the team's official fan forum for their website on September 1st. Not only that, but the forum will remain completely as is, with the lone exception being a change in web servers. It's a pretty big move, and one that is nothing new for a team that always seems to be on the cutting edge of technological marketing and fan interaction.
For the fans running the forums, it's got to be a thrill. There's really no higher praise for a fan forum/website than to have the team like it so much, they actually ask you to come on board. That's about the equivalent of a blogger getting a job at the New York Times, assuming you don't think the Times is "America’s most venerated journal of treason."