Mr Botte reports:
Smith appeared reticent about working without autonomy within Wang's hierarchy and, inexplicably, never signed his agreed-upon three-year contract worth roughly $2.1 million.
Smith and Wang agreed to allow NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to serve as the mediator/arbitrator in the compensation case that has stretched over 16 months.
"I can't talk about this because it hasn't been resolved yet," Smith said last night.
One NHL official said Smith's lawyers argued that Smith "didn't know what he was getting into" in taking the "committee" job, although the Isles countered that Wang's outline of the job was well documented from the outset.
According to one source, Bettman recently informed Smith that his contract is not "enforceable," and that he likely will be entitled to a settlement estimated to be worth "between zero and 40 days' pay."
NYI Fan Central Comments:
The other day I wrote if Mr Wang introduced him as the gm he should be entitled to some compensation.
That written how come Neil Smith did not sign his contract or understand things would be done by committee. Anyone who watched that press conference saw Mr Wang say several times it would be a hockey committee and took many questions on the subject.
Neil Smith deserves compensation but only for the time he did work which clearly is not going to amount to much. I wonder if Mr Wang will simply give him more money so there are no hard feelings but this is one of those times there could be hard feelings on both sides, only the folks involved know.
To his credit Mr Smith on SNY doing hockey analysis has not used his spotlight to make his contract a public issue and has done a fair job when the Islanders come up under tough circumstances and been a class act as always.
This is another mark against Neil Smith that has kept him out of jobs in this league
in a fraternity of owners who do stick together on some things whether they are right or wrong. Not sure how much consulting Mr Smith does for Dallas but he has not been on Versus or any broadcast I know of outside of SNY.
It's too bad because as part of Wang's committee Mike Sillinger and Brendan Witt did sign here. Sillinger did make it clear Smith was a reason he agreed to a contract.
Finally, all due respect Mr Botte, you need a blog at the Daily News for the Islanders and should be asking Leon Carver to set one up for additional coverage like this.
Two paragrahps as game coverage in the newspaper is not acceptable and tells us nothing. Anyone following this story knew about it three days ago when the Globe and Mail broke it, post game article should not take a step back for it.