NHL Board of Governors approves Islanders sale

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The NHL’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the New York Islanders to Scott Malkin and Jonathn Ledecky on Tuesday, though there are a few legal matters to settle before the deal is officially closed.

Here’s the official statement from the league, which you might note only mentions a minority stake in the team:

The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors today unanimously approved the purchase of a minority stake in the New York Islanders by Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky. The purchase remains subject to completion of documentation and further League review before the transaction can be closed.

Commissioner Gary Bettman predicts that things will be settled in about a week, as NHL.com notes:

“It’s not going to happen tomorrow because there is some work to do, but I think they’re probably shooting to get it done before the start of the season next week,” Commissioner Bettman said. “If they miss it, that doesn’t mean anything bad.”

The plan is for a transition of power that will transfer majority ownership from Charles Wang to Malkin and Ledecky, which NHL.com describes in greater detail:

Under the terms of the sale agreement, Ledecky and Malkin are purchasing a minority interest in the Islanders from Charles Wang that will transition into a majority interest in two years. Wang will maintain his status as majority owner until the interest transfers.

With the team set for relocation to Brooklyn in the 2015-16 season, it makes sense for the Islanders to try to make some big changes in a step-by-step process rather than one big leap (in theory, at least). Once that two-year transition is complete, Wang is expected to maintain a minority interest in the Islanders, essentially trading with Malkin and Ledecky.

It appears that the Isles sale voting might be the major takeaway from this latest BOG meeting, as it sounds like Bettman spent a chunk of the rest of his time putting out fires, as Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports: