According to Josh Kosman of the New York Post, Islanders owner Charles Wang is trying to sell the team.
The report says Wang is in preliminary talks with Manhattan investment bank, The Raine Group to sell the team to them. The price tag Wang is seeking out for his money-losing franchise is a sky-high $300 million. Considering the Islanders aren’t drawing well on Long Island (only the Coyotes draw worse at home) and are due to move to Brooklyn in 2015, he might be setting his target amount a wee bit too high.
That said, the fact the team is moving to a better location closer to New York City does make them more attractive to potential buyers. Finding someone willing to come up with Wang’s insane asking price or something close to it might prove to be difficult.
For what it’s worth, the Islanders have denied the report and said there’s no truth to it. There’s a grain of salt to be taken for this whole thing.
The builder of Barclays Center in Brooklyn really wants to have the New York Islanders call his arena home.
Bruce Ratner tells Denis Hamill of the New York Daily News that while having the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets make his new urban palace their home turf is great, adding a once proud NHL franchise to his list of tenants would be perfect.
“And I am trying like hell to get the Islanders to make Barclays Center their new hockey home,” says Ratner, sweeping his hand across the big arena where workers in cherry-picker buckets installed acoustic panels on the domed ceiling as others installed black seats. “They will play a pre-season game here against the Devils.”
If that preseason game doesn’t wind up canceled by a lockout, it’ll make for an intriguing audition for the NHL there. The one issue that sticks out is how it only holds roughly 14,500 for hockey and the quality of the sight lines has come into question. If it all plays out well with minimal issues, Isles owner Charles Wang will have a heck of an option to play in his hopes to keep the Islanders in New York.
The New York Islanders aren’t going anywhere until their lease runs out, but the general feeling is that their days in Long Island are numbered. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t provide many concrete details, yet he backed up Isles owner Charles Wang’s (pictured) efforts to keep the team in the area, as Arthur Staple reports.
“Charles Wang is continuing, despite tremendous frustration, to look at all options to keep the club in the metropolitan area,” Bettman said. “There’s still time [to find a deal].”
Staple points to a date that might just be ominous, though. The Islanders are scheduled to play a preseason game in Brookyln, the new home of the (formerly New Jersey) on Oct. 2 – assuming that the impending CBA talks won’t eliminate such exhibitions.
The Islanders aren’t the only team in their general area to face some struggles as Bettman was also answering questions about the Devils’ financial state during his pre-Stanley Cup finals press conference.
Both situations might take some time to resolve, but Bettman’s technically right; the Isles do have time to look for solutions. Their lease runs out in 2014, so theoretically, the window hasn’t closed – on Long Island or any market hoping to nab a team that is quietly assembling solid young talent.
The New York Islanders haven’t made the playoffs since 2006-07, but the pieces seem to be slowly falling in place for them. John Tavares is blossoming into a legitimate star, they have found some diamond-in-the-roughs in P.A. Parenteau and Matt Moulson and turned them top-six forwards, and their supporting cast is starting to look impressive. They are still young and have a fair amount of growing left to do, but they have been making progress even if their record doesn’t reflect it yet.
That’s probably what team owner Charles Wang was thinking when he announced that GM Garth Snow and head coach Jack Capuano would return for the 2012-13 campaign. That might be an unpopular decision for a franchise that hasn’t enjoyed a winning season for quite some time while the rival Rangers are on course to secure the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but as painful as a rebuilding process can be, it can also pay off big time.
It’s really happening in Quebec City.
Mayor Regis Lebeaume announced today that construction on their new $400 million arena will begin in September with hopes to have it completed by 2015. The only issue left now for Quebec City is to find a NHL team to put in the new place to call it home.
Canadian media giant Quebecor has the exclusive naming rights to the new building and will manage the facility and they also have big ideas about owning a NHL team as well. That kind of arrangement would work well to run a team in the former home of the Quebec Nordiques.
The one team that everyone turns their attention to in these situations is the Phoenix Coyotes and there are many who feel Quebec City should get first shot at bringing the Coyotes to town should the NHL seek to get out of Arizona. With the NHL reportedly looking into “Plan B” for what to do with the ownerless franchise, hopes are sky high in Quebec that their dream of bringing the NHL back to the city will become a reality.
It’s also quite the coincidence that the New York Islanders’ lease with Nassau Coliseum is up in 2015. If the Islanders aren’t forced out of the Coliseum before then by an asbestos investigation, Charles Wang may want to turn his gaze north to Quebec City instead of west to Brooklyn.