LOS ANGELES — The Carolina Hurricanes aren’t going anywhere.
The New York Islanders might, but if they do, they won’t go far.
That was the message NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had for fans of those two teams today. The commissioner’s comments came just hours after Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. told a reporter that he was now open to selling the entire franchise, not just a part of it.
Bettman was first asked about the situation in Carolina.
“I actually don’t think it’s any different than what Peter’s been telling me over time,” said Bettman. “I think he hasn’t ruled anything in or anything out and there’s no formal sale process ongoing.”
The commissioner added, “There’s no imperative for the franchise to be sold on any immediate basis, and the franchise is not moving.”
As for the Islanders, they may, indeed, have to move out of Barclays Center, but they won’t be relocating to another market.
“The owners are committed to the franchise, they’re committed to New York and the great fan base that has followed the Islanders,” said Bettman. “There are some issues about playing in Barclays that may be fundamental as to the ice system, and that’s not something that can be fixed in the short term. I think, as is prudent, Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are reviewing the situation and looking very seriously at what their options are.”
It’s been reported that Malkin and Ledecky, the Isles’ new majority owners, are exploring multiple options, including staying in Brooklyn or building a new arena in Nassau County or Queens.