Barclays Center

Report: New Brooklyn arena really wants the Islanders


Speculation the Islanders could move to Brooklyn intensified recently after the team announced it would play a preseason game at the new Barclays Center on Oct. 2.

Today, WFAN’s BD Gallof is reporting that the arena, originally built for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, is pushing hard for the hockey team to make it home as well.

According to sources, including one within the NHL and another with knowledge of the Barclays Center, the venue is making an “aggressive sales pitch.” In addition, the league source said “the chances of the New York Islanders to Brooklyn are actually pretty good.” The preseason game, sources said, is being viewed as a chance for [team owner Charles] Wang to get a sense of what life would be like in Brooklyn.

Earlier this week it was reported that the Islanders would have a tough time moving to Brooklyn as the Rangers would claim territorial rights. However, an NHL source told Gallof, “99 percent certain the Isles wouldn’t have to pay the Rangers a dime if they moved to Brooklyn or Queens… There is no fee, but the Rangers wouldn’t be happy about it. But there’s not much they could do.”

The Islanders’ lease at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum expires after the 2014-15 season.

The Barclays Center isn’t an ideal NHL venue; it will only seat 14,500 for hockey, which would make it the smallest building in the league. However, if the Islanders can fill the place, including luxury suites, it’s better than what they’ve got now.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.