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Coliseum’s Islanders: Sailing to Philadelphia?

Reports have surfaced indicating Islanders owner Charles Wang is ready to sell the team. It looks like Philadelphia attorney Andrew Barroway is the potential buyer. Could the Islanders move from the neighborhood permanently?

Islanders owner Charles Wang may sell the team.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Team for sale

According to a NY Post article by Josh Kosman and Larry Brooks published Mar. 30, 2014, “Brooklyn boost in Islanders sale talks,” “Charles Wang is in talks to sell the money-losing NHL franchise to Philadelphia lawyer Andrew Barroway for $225 million, plus another $75 million if the Islanders hit certain revenue targets…”

But where will they go?

What happens to the multi-year deal Wang inked with the Barclays Center in Brooklyn? The lame duck Isles have not thrived under Wang. Nevertheless, The Edmonton Sun recently pointed out, “There is a revenue guarantee from Barclays Center, where the Islanders are scheduled to begin playing in 2015…”

But that guarantee is with Wang. Will Barroway’s Islanders want to stick around in Brooklyn? Who knows? Could he get a better deal in Philadelphia? Does the City of Brotherly Love even have enough room for another hockey team?

The time may be right to sell

Wang continues to lose millions with the Islanders every year. He has had a string of dreadful player contracts and a number of seasons without seeing the playoffs. Maybe it is high time for Wang to sell the team.

Charles Wang has already worn out his welcome in parts of Nassau County. Have you been to Oyster Bay lately? If he sells the Islanders and the team does leave, how will Wang be able to show his face in the county again? His legacy on Long Island, Brooklyn and beyond will be as the man who lost the Islanders.

Wang is certainly in a tough position. It is almost like being damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

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