Islanders talking with Mets about possible move to Queens


to a Newsday report
(subscription required), Islanders owner
Charles Wang has talked with Mets COO Jeff Wilpon about possible moving
the team to Queens to be part of a shared complex with Citi Field. Per
Katie Strang:

“I’ve had conversations with Charles,” Wilpon
said by phone Tuesday, “and we’ve talked about Queens. We’d like to be
helpful and I think Queens is an option. We built Citi Field well
under budget and on time. I have all my guys ready.”

states that no agreement has been made, just that the two sides are
talking. He also has not directly discussed purchasing the team with
Wang, although he has not ruled out ownership of the Islanders.

has been frustrated with the Town of Hempstead’s stalling on ruling on
his proposal for a new arena, and has stated several times that
relocation is a possibility. He’s also frustrated over the financial
losses he’s taking each season and might look to sell the franchise or
even turn over controlling interest of the franchise to the NHL.

the league really needs to be owning and running two teams.

this point it’s looking like the Islanders might not be staying in
Nassau County, despite what town officials state, as Wang explored every
possibility if his Lighthouse project proposal isn’t approved.

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.