Is Kansas City a Plan B if NY Islanders' Lighthouse Project falls through?


wangislanders.jpgWhen Kate Murray, the supervisor of Hempstead Town, unveiled a plan that would greatly reduce the scale of the Lighthouse Project, it was seen as a big blow to New York Islanders owner Charles Wang’s plan to make the team more profitable.

As we discussed on Monday, the team is looking at some backup plans, but one city that is floating back into the discussion is Kansas City. KCTV5 in Kansas City has the latest buzz.

According to WNBC in New York, if the New York Islanders proposed arena deal falls through in Hempstead Town, N.Y., Kansas City could be a potential destination for the NHL team to move.

The supervisor of Hempstead Town, Kate Murray, unveiled a proposed zone for the county-owned land surrounding Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. The new zoning plan would halve the size of the Lighthouse Project, the name of the proposed arena and development, and could potentially make it more difficult to for a developer to make a profit.

If the Lighthouse Project were to fall through, WNBC says its sources say Kansas City and Queens could be locations where the team could play. The Islanders played the Los Angeles Kings in an exhibition game in fall of 2009, a move some believed was for Islanders ownership to explore the Sprint Center as a potential new home.

A development group has already started to make plans for an arena for the Islanders at Willets Point in Queens, the area that surrounds Citi Field where the New York Mets play.

lemieuxchampagne.jpgWhen the Pittsburgh Penguins were still in crisis mode a little more than three years ago (hard to believe it hasn’t been longer, right?), they flirted intensely with a move to Kansas City. As you may or may not remember, the Spirit Center is dying for a new tenant – whether that be an NHL or NBA team. In fact, they’re so desperate for a regular draw that they offered the Penguins free rent and other goodies.

Of course, it eventually came out that the Penguins were just using Kansas City (and Las Vegas) to pressure the city of Pittsburgh to pony up for a new arena. (Owner Mario Lemieux joked that they just went, had a nice dinner and came back.)

To further strengthen suspicions that Kansas City might be getting played, Chris Botta of New York Islanders Point Blank flatly denies the rumors of the Isles moving to Kansas City. Botta says that if the team will move, it will be somewhere in the New York metropolitan area.

At this point, there’s a lot of rumors and conjecture. It’s unclear what will happen next, but any team that is in danger of relocation has to at least consider Kansas City, right? With a cushy arena deal like that, it’s hard to believe that they won’t be a player at some point. Even if it appears that right now, they might just be getting played. We’ll keep you up to date as more information trickles in on this dramatic situation.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara
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Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: