Published reports indicate Islanders owner Charles Wang has agreed to sell a minority interest of the troubled franchise. Strangely enough, in two years the new owners will have full control of the orange and blue. The story sounds a bit murky, just like Islander hockey has been under Wang’s tenure. It is hard to believe that the Islanders were once a competitive Stanley Cup dynasty.
An Islander fish tale
Wang’s announcement about the new owners assuming full possession of the team in 24 months sounds fishy considering the Islanders are set to move to the Barclay’s Center at the end of the 2014-15 season. Is Wang afraid to turn the reins over while the Islanders are still on Coliseum ice? For the time being, that is anyone’s guess.
By the way, for the moment, the Islanders are a lame duck squad who are skating with a lame duck owner. What a fine dose of fan appreciation and loyalty. Wang and County executive Ed Mangano have done a real bang-up job for the residents of Nassau, Coliseum supporters and Islanders fans.
Latest ownership and a vague future
So who are the owners that have stepped on board the sinking ship known as the New York Islanders? According to libn.com’s Dave Winzelberg, “A group led by former Washington Capitals co-owner Jon Ledecky and London-based investor Scott Malkin has agreed to purchase a substantial minority interest.”
What will happen when the Ledecky-Malkin led backers finally take control of the Islanders? By that time, the team will be facing-off at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center and the Nassau Coliseum merely a memory. Nevertheless, you have to wonder if Ledecky and Malkin’s investors will ultimately move the Islanders completely away from the Long Island area in the name of higher profits. It’s been done before.
There is a monkey wrench that could throw the deal off temporarily. A pending lawsuit claims Wang may have reneged on an agreement to sell the Islanders for less money to Philadelphia’s Midas touch assets wizard Philip Barroway. That has yet to be decided in the courts.
But in the long run, for Coliseum fanatics and Islander enthusiasts, it does not really matter where the Islanders go. The consecutive championships of the 70s and 80s and the retired jerseys that hang from the Coliseum’s rafters will soon be no more. Before long, the Islanders will be gone, no matter who owns the team.