New York Islanders Will Never Leave New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/16/2011 01:53:00 AM |


I have no doubt the usual media suspects, who can barely follow their own teams without tons of mistakes will go into full Phoenix-Atlanta-Pittsburgh mode if a voter referendum/Nassau legislature/NIFA board kills the latest plan at some point.

The New York Islanders do not have a media to counter it.

This is not Comcast where Flyers owner, Ed Snider tells Tim Panaccio to jump for CSN, and he responds how high? After that Snider calls up Dick Ebersol, who finally has a boss over at NBC and tells him that my Comcast Flyers are hosting the outdoor game.

It's not Pittsburgh, where the 10,000 a game Pens had the Post-Gazette/Tribune Review rally around the club and deflect some of the outside rhetoric.

Having written this, it's what many are paid for, to get attention.

Unless it's their team or their job at stake with advertising revenue from that team on the line from their employer, then the glass has to be kept filled because it's bad for business.

It's why criticism of Rogers Sportsnet will be muted/silenced about firing Damian Goddard, or why the reaction about Espn conduct regarding Matthew Barnaby from any NHL related outlet's or employees will be guarded/muted from folks that need future NHL jobs and have executives following every tweet.

You speak out it goes on the resume for life.

For the New York Islanders a rejection/setback is going to be a distraction that hangs over the team into the season like never before and a fan-base that reads a lot of unfair commentary will be subjected to even more. This is something Wang has always offset (even the summer Neil Smith was fired with moves that made for a playoff team) but this time he likely will not be able to. The questions from a hostile/peripheral local media that does not need the New York Islanders are not going to go away.

Wang has no paper or television station to market his team or his message.

Will the New York Islanders leave New York?
No, as I wrote Sunday, I see an initial rejection of this plan, but the framework for the eventual compromise that will produce a final agreement will emerge. Nassau/TOH/Legislature/NIFA cannot be humiliated by a closed Nassau Coliseum or the potential loss of it's only sports team, and subsequent revenue even if this is done beyond the term of Mangano/NIFA members and some legislators.

Pass, and it will get built. Fail, it will produce the ground work for what will be passed.

Charles Wang's hotel is not going anywhere, which is another reason he is never moving inside NYC limits as long as he owns this franchise. He also has his/Rechler agreement with Smg to run the Coliseum until 2015, he made clear he is honoring his lease. He also now is operating the Sound Tigers arena in Bridgeport who's team has a lease until 2021 that was recently announced and that facility is being renovated.

The CBA is ending, he might finally receive revenue sharing, there is more cable contract money as years/dollars go up and the new Comcast/NBC agreement.

The Current Islander Roster:
Four year contracts are a life-time in this NHL for many players. The large majority of players here now would be gone when a new building opens regardless aside from a select few, but we are talking future star players who receive those kinds of agreements.

A little reality that I touched on the other day.
Charles Wang's tenure as owner is winding down regardless of what happens with the Nassau Coliseum unless he intends to do what a Bill Davidson did in Tampa/Detroit.

Perhaps he will hang in owning the franchise, but that's not the norm.

Unless he plans on keeping the club within his family, or is able to sell it to a group within his inner circle of advisers, it is later in his life with this new Coliseum (if agreed to as proposed) not opening until likely after he turns seventy.

Mr Wang will not be around when bonds have to be paid back, it's like looking back to 1976 Giants Stadium (the other day I wrote bonds were still owed/they were forgiven with losses written off) someone else will be on the hook.

Anyone really think Charles Wang wants to be known as the last owner of this franchise after all he has gone through now for a decade? To say nothing of the teams cable contract and Nassau's basic need to come to an agreement to replace a facility that must be replaced combined with a hotel he just bought from Scott Rechler?

You can believe what you wish, the New York Islanders are never leaving New York.
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Misc/Notables:
* Unless Pat Bingham's successor is working for an organization still playing it's time for Garth Snow to find the Bridgeport Sound Tigers a head coach.

Maybe the Islanders really like Matt Bertani, who's been a long-time assistant or are giving Doug Weight or Mark Wotton time to decide their playing careers? Call it unconventional, but if Scott Gordon wanted the job, I would do it in a minute and bring in his former assistant, Rob Murray to go with Bertani.

* I'm not sure if Gordon is going to land another NHL job this summer or wind up as an assistant. Another club would be smart to give him an opportunity he never had here with a healthy team.

* Color me fascinated if the Islanders back-loaded Graber's contract, it's not the norm to my knowledge.

* Two weeks and Casey Cizikas can re-enter the draft. His team Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors are hosting the Memorial Cup and just lost game seven. In short Memorial Cup is QMJHL/OHL/WHL champs playing one host team. Do the Islanders sign him early or see if he does not get injured?

This is a prospect that needs to be signed.

* If Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (as host team) had won game seven the team they were defeated by would still be included.

* That World Championships sure must have Islander fans thrilled about their goaltending, both got hurt, both struggled. Anders Nilsson at least (reportedly) was not hurt as third goaltender for Sweden.

Cheer up, the Islanders have at least five goaltenders better than the Flyers and that does not even include former goalies Scott Munroe or Biron. The rub on how bad media coverage is all those who ignored Nabokov's body of work in Slovakia, still rumor him to Philadelphia?

That only begs the question if he is THE answer for the Flyers, why not make him THE answer here?

* I cannot see Gary Bettman abandoning Atlanta, but this is not Phoenix and not his (or BOG call) unless the Atlanta Spirit Group files bankruptcy and the league is placed in control of the teams future. I have no doubt the BOG if they had a say would like a nice franchise relocation fee of 60m.

Atlanta has not had a fair chance yet to create a winning team in a modern building and has outdrawn many so-called big markets. (including the NY Islanders)

The Atlanta Hawks are not the Thrashers/Flames and not rumored for relocation. If these teams have same owner (Atlanta Spirit Group) why would that group break them up when together both would bring in more money?

* Going to be fun watching Mike Illitch/Little Caesars Red try to bully their way back into the Eastern Conference over Columbus if any franchise moves do happen.

* Anyone believe there is one media person around the NHL that wants to lose two trips in winter to Florida, even if the Panthers go thirty years between playoffs?



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