“Although the deal still requires language clarification, legal fine-tuning and ratification from both sides, a verbal agreement has been reached on the major points.” – ESPN NHL
The NHL and the players’ union have reached a tentative deal regarding the current lockout. It looks as though there will be hockey this year, after all. This should make New York Islander fans happy, considering there is only one partial and two full seasons left to play at the Nassau Coliseum.
The stoppage is over
According to an article published Jan. 6 2013 by Katie Strang of ESPN NHL, “NHL, NHLPA reach tentative agreement”, the NHL and the players have reached a provisional accord that will enable a short schedule to begin no later than Jan. 19.
Strang reports “NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr stood side by side in the early hours of Sunday morning to announce that there was a framework in place for a new collective bargaining agreement.”
The NHL work stoppage began 113 days ago and now it appears to be over. For Islander fans this only means another countdown has started. That’s because the orange and blue jerseys are slated to begin skating at their new home, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on Jan. 1, 2016. It’s understandable how Coliseum goers currently feel like they’re watching a lame duck squad in action.
Another kind of reckoning
There is one more clock ticking out in Uniondale. That’s the one keeping track of the Islanders lease with Nassau Coliseum which ends in 2015. What are the chances that team owner Charles Wang wants to continue playing in a crumbling arena while a new rink is waiting just “around the corner”? To make matters worse, it was reported the Islanders financial value increased merely by announcing their move away from the Coliseum.
Will Charles Wang negotiate a deal in order to wriggle his way out of the existing Coliseum lease? Don’t look now, but the Nassau County Executive has already hired Barclays mastermind Bruce Ratner to overhaul the Coliseum. Could something be in the works down the road? Keep watching. Meantime, let’s play hockey.