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In a surprising announcement, Chris Botta – the Islanders VP of Media Relations and creator of the Islanders Blog Box has resigned after a 20 year career. Greg Logan has an article in today’s Newsday on this breaking news.

Chris Botta at the trade deadline 2008

Here is a quick quote:

For the past 20 years, Chris Botta helped the Islanders navigate through a public-relations minefield replete with revolving owners and controversial personnel decisions that threatened their existence as a viable NHL franchise. But that relationship ended yesterday when the Islanders’ vice president of media relations announced his resignation for personal reasons. “It was my dream job, and it’s been an incredible ride,” he said yesterday. “But it’s time to end it.”

I know I am nothing short of surprised by this, but in the same breath I can’t imagine anyone being in the same job for 20 years being able to make more of an impact than Chris Botta. Botta has survived ownership changes, coaching changes and even the evil fire spewed forth by fans due to management gutting the team.

After a great season for us in the Blog Box, I find myself a little concerned in the fate of our group of bloggers.

Lastly, having never really gotten the chance to properly thank Chris Botta for all his hard work this year, thank you. Never in my life have I felt more welcomed and embraced by a team that I follow closer than anything. The ability to see the behind the scenes things we have has been a dream come true. I hope your “personal reasons” are nothing more than wanting to spend time with your kids and that everyone has their health. Islanders nation (at least in my eyes) has lost their brightest star today.