As another lackluster season winds down for the Islanders, the team will likely not qualify for the playoffs this year. At the same time, rumors are starting to swirl about the orange and blue being for sale. When it comes to the hapless Islanders, gossip like that is nothing new. But this time around, could the chitchat be true?
The current buzz
After losing team captain John Tavares during most of 2014, facing yet another season without making the playoffs may be too much to bear for Islanders owner Charles Wang.
According to a Newsday article by Arthur Staple, published Mar. 28, 2014, “Islanders owner Charles Wang open to offers to buy team,” “Islanders owner Charles Wang said Friday he is ‘willing to listen’ to offers to buy the team.”
On the other hand, Newsday quotes Wang as saying, “no deal is close and he is not on the verge of selling.”
Not so fast. Don’t believe everything you read.
This might be the right time to sell
In the NHL, not making the playoffs always has ramifications. Currently, there is only one team in the entire league with fewer points than the Islanders. That’s Edmonton. It is interesting to note that the Isles have only made it into post-season play twice while Wang has been at the helm. Wait, it doesn’t end there.
Reports say Wang is losing millions with the Islanders every year. All of this as his lame duck team gets ready to bolt for Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center in 2015. Needless to say, Wang is not the most popular figure on the Long Island scene these days.
In a related item, cbssports.com notes that while Wang has been owner, “The years since have been one disaster after another from bad contracts to unsuccessful bouts with local government to a lot of losing hockey.”
If Wang follows the arrows, he’ll see that they all point in one direction. Maybe it’s really time to sell the Islanders.That would be some headline. Think about it. Just as the team readies for the move to the Barclay’s Center, Wang unloads the franchise to an out-of-town buyer. After all, Quebec City, Hamilton, Cleveland, Baltimore and a slew of other cities are desperately seeking a team. But that’s a whole other story.