Report: Islanders are looking to get out of Brooklyn

Associated Press
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The New York Islanders are in their first season in Brooklyn, but according to The New York Post, they’re already looking to get out of their lease at the Barclays Center.

It’s safe to say that the Brooklyn experience has been a colossal flop for both the team and the arena.

Getting to and from Barclays Center has been a challenge and the in-game experience hasn’t justified the steep price of tickets.

“The Islander deal was forced from the start because the club was hemorrhaging so much money playing on Long Island … and had to bail,” a source told The Post. “Now you’re left with this weird situation where Barclays’ folks pay the Islanders to play there — but aren’t getting the bang for the buck they desired, not to mention all the crap they’re getting from Islander fans who are finding every little fault they can with being in Brooklyn.

“On the Islanders’ end, they might be better off financially than at Nassau Coliseum. But under the current deal, I think they realize they’ll never be able to have the type of revenue coming in to compete with other big-market teams to sign top players.”

Despite having one of the better home records (19-8-4) in the NHL, the Islanders have been averaging just 13,424 fans per game (28/30 in the NHL).

There’s reasons for both sides to want out of the 25-year lease agreement, and an out-clause after the fourth year may give both parties their wish.

Here’s an excerpt from The Post:

The Islanders were losing roughly $20 million annually playing at the antiquated Nassau Coliseum — their home for 43 years — when owner Charles Wang in 2012 cut a 25-year lease deal with Barclays Center to have the team move there beginning this season. The lease includes a little-known out clause that kicks in after the fourth season that both sides could take advantage of, sources said.

No one believed the Islanders would be in Brooklyn for the next 25 years, but the fact that they want out after just half a season tells you how poor of a decision this was.

“I don’t think either side ever believed the full lease would be honored,” another source told The Post. “I just didn’t think we’d be talking about this the first year in.”

Where would the Islanders go from here?

More from The Post:

Nets and Barclays Center owner Mikhail Prokhorov is overseeing a $260 million renovation of the Nassau Coliseum to make it state of the art by next year. However, the plans include trimming seating at the Islanders’ former home to 13,000 — which would make it too small to host NHL hockey full time.

Willets Point in Queens previously was floated as a possible landing spot for the Islanders. The idea gained little traction before the team opted to move to Brooklyn.

No matter how you spin it, it looks like Islanders ownership will have to spend some serious coin to build a new arena if they want to leave Barclays.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.