10/27/12

More Questions Than Answers For New York: Could Wang Have Waited Longer?

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/27/2012 02:18:00 AM
It's a very easy thing for me to blog spending Charles Wang's money for him. I wrote, and gave him total support in past entries.

I absolutely do now.  

Put this entry in the policy-wonk category.

I would like to hear something from Islanders senior VP, Michael Picker, who was at the meeting Feb 14th 2012 at the Nassau legislature eight months (before the seven month negotiation began with Brooklyn), and said Islanders Want To Stay At Coliseum Nothing's Changed. 

Picker showed up when he was not even scheduled, and spoke, making clear it had to happen this year, which Kevin Law/other did as well. 

Everything that goes through this team has always gone through Picker for comment. He was not photographed or mentioned at the Brooklyn press conference that seemed to catch the entire hockey media world off guard off what Wang said was an agreement done at 7am.

It was almost as stunning as the announcement given on the shortest notice ever.  Nothing this franchise has done for a decade happens without everyone claiming to know days in advance, yet Bloomberg, Bettman were all there.

I wish to know more about the iron-clad, no opt-out lease or how this makes Charles Wang more revenue than he made under conditions of his sublease at the Coliseum where he got revenue from all events next to his hotel. Did he opt out of his sublease?

For that matter when the day comes that Wang sells, do those same iron-clad, no opt-out terms apply to a future owner?

Do I expect those answers? Absolutely not, however they are big questions--- fair to ask here.

Howie Rose recently gave thirty seconds to the Isles, and felt there was no reason it would not turn out like Pittsburgh where they would stay longer than their lease, while a new facility was finally agreed on at the last minute in March, April, May 2015.

I shared that view, and wrote the framework from the referendum would happen with or without Mangano sooner or later behind closed doors.

It's easy for Rose, myself, any New York Islander fan to say the same thing writing Wang could have waited a few years at the Coliseum after an agreement was done which was obviously not getting closer.

What's another six years, it's not our money? Wang was doing all the work. Sure he likely had enough of the political football, he kept his word not to issue threats or play it out in the media. When the time came he made his decision.
 
Having written that we were not the ones getting told no since 2002, while everyone else got a new building via taxpayers or was getting exemptions. Would I have blamed Wang for washing his hands of everything, getting every penny he could out of town? No. 

If everything is iron-clad for all future owners the game with the Dolans is over, no cable contract buyout, who knows if that played out at all?

Mangano put this referendum out, he played the will of the people card which is a joke because all that did was take the pressure off him which NIFA never would have approved. 

Charles Wang absolutely shocked me last summer. Every other day this 67 year old multimillionaire was running into NYC to go on Manhattan television stations at 7am, to ask five percent of the people watching from Nassau to vote YES like someone half his age.

The agreement he signed last summer gave him nothing near the revenue or outright payments that Phoenix/Edmonton offered to those teams.

It begs the question Michael Kay asked. Why? . 

The last two summers I made a few very tough entries here, practically begging the fans to fill the Coliseum, putting it on the public to force Nassau/Wang to keep the team here, writing fill the building or lose the team.

Another announced 29th year of attendance.  Kate Murray will get her sixty percent, Mangano will run for election, few will hold them accountable, some will even praise him.

The apathy or indifference among the politicians even now speak for themselves.

Wang has interest on the property that are not expiring in 2015, and a hotel to fill.

Lot's of unanswered question.

 

10/26/12

Bad Actors 101: Ranger Media Should Not Tell New York Islander History

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/26/2012 04:44:00 AM
If there is an academy award for bad actors in biased media, there have been a lot of Ranger life long die-hards to nominate for attempting to re-write New York Islander history the past few days in a market with little full time hockey media in 2012.

So the New York Islanders should change their historic name, logo and what their history represents?

Who knew some of the same people who call New Jersey football teams, New York  had such double-standards? 

Funny how some of the same media people looked the other way as the New York Islanders had their channel rebranded from Sportschannel to Fox Sports New York to Metroguide, finally to Madison Square Garden Network Plus or +2.

What's next the New York American's were not Msg's true original team? 

Do the New York Islanders play home games in Madison Square Garden besides the three appearances yearly against the Rangers. 

I still remember James Dolan laughing in studio when Chris Russo asked him how he could put Isles-Leafs on Metroguide in 2002 when it was becoming a huge New York interest story?

I'm sure one or two remember that famous night Msg/Fox merged and they did that ceremony before a game turning out the lights on Sportschannel. Soon afterward the lights went off again when Msg decided to pull the games off television entirely because they did not like the fine print the Isles got eighteen percent of all Msg media on the new cable contract, demanding it be changed for a phony competition clause that would have kept the Rangers off Msg for eight years, and the Knicks off Msg for a decade or longer.

There were two PPV Islander games before or after. 

It's been an odd and disappointing few days reading some life-long Ranger media fans playing bad actor writing about the history of a team that gave some of them a few sleepless nights growing up hockey fans.

Seems to me New York Islander regular season hockey was a stand alone back-page story in all New York City papers, the road games on WOR-9, at a time hockey was never more popular with the general public.

Today hockey is not a regular season back-page story for games, even some Ranger media fans were offended last year writing articles asking for people to notice the team here.    

In 2006 that same Sports Illustrated had a different take on 1994 Stanley Cup Finals ratings because they were very low.


It's insulting to see media fans of a team with one Stanley Cup (my version would be purchased from Edmonton-Chicago) since 1940 to talk about success or relevance or a building four years older than the Nassau Coliseum closed with falling debris/failed health inspections ripping the Nassau Coliseum.

Who knew the Islanders were as bad as the Knicks the last decade reading some of this stuff with one playoff game win since Charles Wang purchased the Islanders? I must have missed Wang hiring Isiah or Sather who never would have lost a game with the Isles payroll.

Funny, before last season the Rangers went to the playoffs one more time than the Islanders since 1997, they had two playoff series wins and got one of those with that disputed goal against the Isles that could have seen the Isles play Atlanta in the opening round instead.

Ken Belson, Larry Brooks, Jeff Z Klein, Neil Best, Jim Baubauch, Stu Hackel come on down. Katie Strang is not shy about knocking a team she did not cover in 2011-12 beyond a few October game for the joke that is Espn has Scott Burnside, Pierre Lebrun needing to sell markets. 

No, this blog will leave out the clueless media department that would include everyone named Bondy at the Daily News. Peter Botte's only good for twitter shots.

For those wondering about Arthur Staple. cannot recall anything vindictive when he was a full time Ranger beatwriter, not working very hard covering Isles today does not make him a bad actor and it is interesting he's using Charles Wang's XM interviews instead of getting his own interview. Could I have included Mark Herrmann, Steve Zipay for his pre Dolan ownership if you think LI is really Ranger country blog? Sure.

John Jeansonne, Mark Herrmann absolutely loved to remind Islander fans they are second to the Rangers in their world, does that make it so? No, it just means Herrmann is a life long Ranger fan, and Jeansonne does not cover them enough to know anything anymore.

Only thing more entertaining is reading Bob Raissman's twitter feed's comments about how Alan (2007 they would prefer we don't even write) Hahn on Dolan's network which turned out that way. 

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Vancouver Sun: Had no problem defending Oilers 38 year home vs the Nassau Coliseum in a display of hypocricy. 

Of course the sub five hunderd Cauncks who got swept in 1982 finals used to play in a different building, bleeding red ink.
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Alumni:
So far Torrey, Arbour, Potvin, Bossy, Brent Sutter have weighed in.  Potvin's audio interview (see twitter feed must listening)  The alumni living here (Nystrom/Gillies) will be the most interesting read.

Even if Billy Smith/anyone rips Charles Wang I want to write it here. 

The Longest Goodbye: 
The problem with this story is it does not end until the New York Islanders relocate to Brooklyn, whether that be in 2015-16 or sooner.

Moving Forward:
Many bad actors yet to step on the stage, some in other markets. One Ranger fan staff writer at Time Magazine, actually got approval to write this?

High Marks:
A few years ago (a few days/game after the Islanders beat the Rangers) a writer named Andrew Gross went off at how the Islanders Stanley Cups really bothered him growing up and came off like one of the bad actors above. I found it amusing and made some comments.

Mr Gross did a super job writing about the Islanders this week, and got it right on all fronts.

Some Ranger life-long media fans can do a great job and put down the bias.


Transparency: 
Again to be clear the Dolan family are doing absolutely nothing illegal. They have every legal right to hide, ignore or drive their competition out of business or limit their viability. No one made past Islander owners sign cable contracts until 2030. The Dolan family purchased Newsday fair and square so they can write whatever they want. They have zero obligation to write one article about the New York Islanders.

They have to show the games per the cable contract, that's it. 

New York Islander Fan Central however can point out the coverage disparity, and let our readers know when things are not equal. .




10/25/12

A Shocking Day Leads To Huge Future Questions For New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/25/2012 08:46:00 AM

A huge day of incredible news on countless levels that now begins what is now a three year status as a team leaving the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the only home the New York Islanders have ever know.

It happened with zero advanced notice from a media completely blindsided. A lease Wang closed at 7am. Almost as shocking the name Michael Picker appeared in no article or statement on Tuesday. (Art McCarthy was mentioned) 

For many at best it's a time of mixed emotions.  The Ranger/Dolan media people took their obligatory shots, ignoring the age of the Garden, and it's tax exemptions/empty seats/viability, that's old news. Most had enough problems contradicting the distance between facilities.

Now those outlets are out of excuses not to spend money covering the team full time beyond their own viability/relevance/credibility issues.
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Charles Wang's Legacy:
Charles Wang reportedly signed a 25 year, Iron-Clad, No Opt Out Lease. The days of talking about this team leaving New York are over, the teams future is secure. Wang's legacy when he finally sells along with his efforts since day one in 2000 to keep this team here at his own expense is one of doing everything he could.

Wang was consistent with his words back to 2002-03 with Bruce Ratner when it was possible the Nets could return to the Coliseum.

No. Wang could not/should not paid for everything when no one did.. He tried every plan possible and ran around last summer at 7am going on television trying to pass a referendum no other local team had to endure as they got quietly paid in backrooms after years of trying to get the Lighthouse passed at his own expense.

The biggest news of the referendum was forty three percent were willing to spend money they likely did not have because they understood this franchise history/Wang's efforts were worth the YES vote which never would have been passed by NIFA/legislature anyway.

Wang's failure was marketing a team that was New York overplaying the Long Island card which was written about often here.  He discussed his season ticket base again (same as 2011 WFAN) with how many are from inside the city limits. 
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Did Things Play Out As New York Islander Fan Central Projected In Many Entries?
No. Having written this three years is a long time, and if history has taught us anything it's the people on the stage at the press conferences come/go which will happen at Barclay's as soon as AIG completes it's sale.

Three years is a long time for Charles Wang at age 68, but a binding lease is simply that for his eventual successor.

New York Islander Fan Central for a long time has maintained Wang had every single economic reason to keep the team at the Coliseum, that if the club were moved to Brooklyn it would not be with him as it's owner.

As of 2015-16 the 450,000 hockey customers and NHL teams staying at his hotel will no longer be frequenting that area.  How did Brooklyn compensate him for that?

As of 10/24 Wang said he will retain sole ownership as a tenant in someone else's facility, does that make economic sense losing 42 NHL games (at least) away from a hotel/abatement he made clear he maintains interest in yesterday?

We do not know the answer to this, however it seems unlikely on the surface Wang makes any additional revenue with this move, he could make less. 

It all depends on what he was given to relocate as compensation if anything.
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Dolan/Msg Cable Contract Buyout Factor?  
The silence was deafening no live coverage, no announcers sent beyond Stan Fischler. Guess there was no time for Dolan to welcome the Islanders to Brooklyn.

To be fair Dolan made clear last week there are enough events to go around in Brooklyn and Msg is booked solid.

Ultimately this may not have been the time for Dolan to cut Wang a huge cable contract buyout check with what he's paying to renovate Msg unless he plans to buy AIG interest in Barclay's.

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The Move Helps The Team Spend More?  
It all depends what's in the lease. The numbers do not add considering how many teams with full control of revenue in tax payer facilities getting paid lose money. Wang's a tenant in Brooklyn.

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Sublease?
There is nothing reported Wang opted out of his Dec 2009 sublease. The signs are there that he did with Smg bringing in a booking GM (2012 entry) which counters those terms where Wang managed facility. 

All we know is Islanders prospects were housed at his hotel, and avoided the Coliseum since the draft party.
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Moving Before 2015? Depends On Nassau/Wang/Sublease
Wang did not dismiss it, but maintained he has a binding lease. 

If Wang opted out of his Dec 2009 sublease he can move immediately only if Nassau County approves. In that event Wang would have to pay back full terms of his lease or roughly three million a year through 2015.

If a developer comes along with a plan to build now, it makes financial sense for Nassau to let Wang out of his hockey lease sooner, will Mangano's new master developer list expand or be quickly announced? 

That comes down to Ed Mangano/Nassau or his possible successor after the 2013 election.
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Politicians/Developers:   
Anyone who says Charles Wang bought the Isles for real estate officially were proven incorrect, he maintains interest at the Coliseum site anyway, and will work for his destination at the HUB, but without the New York Islanders at his hotel with other developers.

The politicians who let this teams fans down for decades put on their usual sad show of apathy, indifference or flat out incompetence. That's where the full blame goes, our alumni should be furious at them who should have been making plans starting in 1990.

Kate Murray/D'Amato, Mondello, Jacobs (Jay/Judy) and countless others, you played political football and lost for the final time. 

Mangano took his out with the referendum, playing his will of the people card instead of finding a way to close the doors, and do the financing everyone else did without a referendum. 

He failed. Ed Mangano's deserves blame pulling the Lighthouse day one of his term from the county website. Every other municipality found a way without making it a public vote with  other cities lining up to give public funding for rich corporations. 

Wonder what would have happened with Yankees-Mets-Devils-Msg if the public had to vote via referendum to give them taxpayer money as Bloomberg closed firehouses/cut police?

Exactly. Forty three percent to me was a victory, even in August.
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Hofstra's Staurt Rabinowitz:
He sure seemed broken up.....NOT.  
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Edmonton Is Staying, Wang Has A Year More Than Katz On Lease?
Mr Katz got a taxpayer funded arena down town and it's apparently still not enough. What's happening here is what happened in Washington, New Jersey, Detroit and many teams who moved to a more populated area with transportation.

Things happen in trends suburban has gone urban in most cases. 
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Nassau Coliseum Future?
It all depends on how much control a Master Developer has vs how much political football can be played. It could be leveled by a developer building quickly or left open for events. Nassau after 2015 has to find someone to manage it if it remains.

Someone pays to keep it open or to clear the land. 

In other words enter Cablevision in the business of renovating old facilities as entertainment venues .LA Forum.
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Bottom Line: 
The New York Islanders, history, name/logo remain which for me was everything.

This blog more than most have defended the club as a New York franchise, same as the Yankees with a championship tradition that is second to none in this town. (or New Jersey)

The New York Islanders have a current home in New York, they have a future home in New York.

Not my place to speak for alumni, it's still their team/tradition/history. 

The Dynasty should have gotten the Canyon Of Hero's from 1980-1983, they should have gotten the home outdoor game at Yankee Stadium.

New York City is officially New York Islander Country in an over-saturated market.

Nassau County remains New York Islander Country.

10/24/12

Wang WFAN Summary: " It Was Brooklyn Or Out Of Town "

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/24/2012 06:10:00 PM

Summary of Charles Wang's 10/24, 5pm interview on WFAN:
Updated 7pm: Complete interview now available. 
Included Espn radio interview 

Most of this out of context, but wanted to post it for everyone. WFAN/Isles website will have link at some future point. 
 
* It was Brooklyn or out of  town, no other alternative.
* Did not comment on selling if club had left New York entirely. 
* Tried to do everything to get something done with Nassau/credited Mangano, ran out of time.
*  Felt fan base extends from Manhattan to Suffolk regarding lame duck status questions.
* Not contemplating getting out of lease early, not dwelling on it.
* Lease completed today at 7am in Brooklyn, said it was getting close.
* Cited season ticket base percentages (he did same in 2011 on WFAN) per area.
30 percent Nassau/30 Suffolk, rest inside NYC limits, Westchester. 
* Discussed free agent problem, felt Brooklyn would help.
* Locker rooms would have to be built for hockey. Home/Visitor. (discussed Ratner working on that)
* Still has HUB interest Marriott/parcel next door, timing no longer viable for Islander hockey, but discussed Mangano's RFP for developers he will work with, continuing dialogue, destination spot. 
* Did not want to blame anyone for dropping ball, discussed everything tried over years.
* Name/colors/logo absolutely will be kept.
* Goal on ice is to win Stanley Cup.
* Feels going to Brooklyn brings revenue's to help them compete.
* Will honor training lease with Iceworks as transition begins.
* Felt the New York Islanders continue to be New York Islanders and fans of Long Island will continue to care.
* Said an early exit possible but dialogue with Mangano, speculation.
* Does not know if any games in Brooklyn this year, citing having to honor Coliseum lease.
* Was very excited, light at end of tunnel, happy home for franchise. 

New York Moves To Brooklyn Effective 2015... 25-Year Iron Clad Lease....Team Retains New York Name...Wang Intends To Retain Ownership

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/24/2012 02:04:00 PM
 Islanders website: Issued the official release

ITV: Has the press conference with Charles Wang, Bruce Ratner, Mike Bloomberg/others. 

Complete Press Conference with Q & A

 The announcement was made at a press conference in the GEICO Atrium at Barclays Center, which was also attended by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Islanders General Manager Garth Snow, and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark.

In support of the illustrious history of the team, the New York Islanders name and logo will remain unchanged.

"It was our goal from day one to keep the Islanders in the local New York area." Wang said. "We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to play in Barclays Center, a first class arena. This has been a long journey for the Islanders family starting with our loyal fans, sponsors, and employees. I want to personally thank them for their patience, loyalty, and support. I am excited about today’s announcement and I am looking forward to a long and successful future in Brooklyn."
 Just watched complete press conference on NY1.com.
 
"We have tried very hard to keep the Islanders in their original home," Wang said. "I want to specifically thank Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his team for their help trying to find a solution to keep the Islanders there. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that."

"I have said consistently we will honor our lease (at the Coliseum)," Wang said. "Obviously anything can happen, but we are committed to being there through 2015."

Will update this entry, adding video, credible articles as available.
NY Post: Has updated comments that Charles Wang will honor his Coliseum lease.   The Post laughingstock hockey media did not attend.

Mcall.com: Had comments from Jiggs McDonald, who said shame on Nassau County somewhere on Facebook (I did not see) Bob Gutkowski and the usual politicians doing their bad actor impersonations who hardly seemed devastated from Murray to Stuart Rabinowitz to Kevin Abrahams.

NYIFC Comments:
A ton to digest. My initial reaction is how does Charles Wang make money as a tenant  in a building he does not own vs what he made at the Coliseum if he retains ownership as he said?

He just walked away from a hotel that was making money from NHL games next door he currently own, plus teams that stayed at his hotel. Come Sept 2016 the Islanders will require a practice facility near this arena.

2015-16 is a long time away for a 68 year old owner, but the bottom line to that is an iron clad lease means the talk of this team leaving New York ends permanently until 2040 beyond his tenure as owner. 

Great for Charles Wang keeping this completely quiet in the sourced-based/rumor filled NHL media, he caught everyone off guard which I loved. 

Dolan's Msg Networks/WFAN did not carry the press conference, nor did YES in a show of who your friends really are.

Mayor Bloomberg gave the New York Islanders the metrocard to the Canyon Of Hero's. Gary Bettman was present and endorsed the move, citing the capacity vs the Nassau Coliseum as a small factor.

Wang said he will remain the sole owner of this franchise. 

Obviously Long Island only/fans a devastating day. For New York Islander fans, a bittersweet day but the day of speculation of this teams future seem to be apparently over. For myself, this blog has always considered the New York Islanders as much New York as the Yankees.

However that viewpoint is not shared by others including many alumni, despite the long-term fan support at Msg/New Jersey.

Charles Wang retains his Marriott hotel, abatement to the Coliseum and maintains control of the HUB property beyond the lease unless a far less significant announcement is coming. Ed Mangano, decades of Nassau politicians officially lost their hockey team today or last summer with their referendum as opposed to paying as everyone else in New York/New Jersey had to do. 

Wang did the right thing, the New York Islanders will never be the Brooklyn Islanders, this teams history/tradition are too special for any other name, he also kept the team in the New York area despite comments of out of market offers.

Is that consolation to generations of fans who saw this team as Long Island only which many media sold as such to cut coverage? No. 

What will Ed Mangano's reaction be? This is a tough time for Mangano with police business but he gave his comments.

The signs were there with Smg bringing in a general manager to book events in a sublease where the Isles booked events, this blog wrote about it back in February.  The team not having a prospect camp at the Coliseum in July, no practices pre lockout, no training camp at Coliseum while the prospects stayed at Wang's hotel.

The New York Islanders officially became a lame-duck franchise at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum today. The door is open for whoever develops the site under Mangano's plan or Dolan to come in and renovate the building for AHL hockey/events.

Bottom line the New York Islanders remain the New York Islanders, with what is likely a media forced to cover them as a New York team.

This is going to be a very long/bitter sweet three year goodbye, unless Nassau County decides they can leave sooner. 

My advice is for the fans seeing this as goodbye should understand the Devils moved to Newark from the Meadowlands, the Capitals moved downtown from Landover, the Oilers are trying to move into a city. The Pistons moved to Auburn Hills.

It's not goodbye, they are moving twenty miles, not out of state. 

Charles Wang felt he waited as long as he could to do something with Nassau, he did not receive anything that the other local teams received, it remains to be seen how he does much better as a tenant here. 

New York Islanders Brooklyn Press Conference 1pm Live Streamed

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/24/2012 12:35:00 PM
Updated: Direct link to live press conference: on ITV at 1pm
ny1.com: Will show the live conference on television.
(this would be channel 1 for Time Warner subscribers)


Charles Wang will be on WFAN at 5:30pm, trying to get Bettman.  

Not much else to write at this time, however Charles Wang, Gary Bettman, Garth Snow, Marty Markowitz, Mayor Bloomberg are all scheduled to appear per multiple reports.

Associated Press: Cites arena issues however there is nothing here that suggests the team can vacate it's current lease before 2015 without permission from Nassau County. 

Obviously we'll know more at 1pm.

Unless Wang terminated his Dec 2009 sublease, and Nassau gave the club permission to leave the team must play at the Nassau Coliseum through it's 2014-2015 lease. 

Smg would also have to be paid the full value of it's lease through 2014-15 under all those terms.

10/23/12

The Official New York Islander Fan Central List Of Worthless Article Keywords

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/23/2012 10:59:00 PM
At New York Islander Fan Central this writer believes everyone's time is important never to be wasted so others can accumulate page views while promoting their agenda.

You are entitled to information/articles with direct quotes with names that support what's being claimed in articles.

As soon as a professional writer needs to start writing the following, it's time to click off and never return:
A report claims.
Rumor has it.
A source(s) has/have said/confirmed.
Insiders believe.
The word is.
I've been told.
Someone says
Anonymous person.
We've learned.
I know. 

There are likely a few terms I forgot to include, you get the idea. 

Some will call up a university or economist for a quote to give you some background in a study, however that does not support what's being claimed by the writer. 

When a writer gives straight speculation or provides opinion that's fair, this blog is not claiming media people should not express their views, however if you are making claims about news take the time and back it up with a quote.

There is a significant difference. 

Bottom line, when you see the following (above) in an article about your team lockout, game, whatever hit the close button and go find a professional media writer who will not waste your time, and actually earn their paycheck by placing a call, and asking for a direct quote.

I'm well aware that's hard to find anymore. 

Sure many media people are under pressure to produce anything from their editors, if they don't do it someone younger/cheaper will be hired to take that writers place with a mark against their future resume. 

Do people who give direct quotes always tell the truth? Obviously not, but the writer did their job. 
 
This blog has maintained the New York Islanders have the worst media in North American professional sports, that means the standards drop to where virtually anything written is believed by some. 

It does not mean you should ever accept anything but the highest journalistic standards. 

What I have discovered often is the small town papers covering NHL players usually do the best job. The AHL media operates in the same manner telling the game story, going to coach for comment,  players for quotes which provides a good insight into the information presented.

It's not very tough to do at all as evidenced in this Durham region/Oshawa article that had Josh Bailey's comment that this blog linked to via twitter last week.

10/22/12

Calvin deHaan Season Ending Shoulder Surgery

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/22/2012 07:13:00 PM
Sound Tigers twitter & Ct Post: Reports Calvin deHaan will miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season with a dislocated left shoulder

deHaan's had a long history of shoulder injuries and surgery on his left shoulder.

NYIFC Comments: 
Devastating for deHaan, who has had shoulder issues since juniors, devastating for the New York Islanders.

deHaan was this franchises best short term bet to play in the NHL, he was their 2008 12th overall draft selection, who almost made the team in his first camp.

Bridgeport needed him, however New York needed him more to finally become a full time NHL player, that will not happen in 2012-13.

With the exception of Griffin Reinhart, deHaan on paper was the better rated prospect to Aaron Ness, Matt Donovan who were drafted later.

As long as the lockout continues Bridgeport has the short-term depth, however make no mistake deHaan needed to be in New York playing at the NHL level if a CBA agreement was reached.



10/21/12

NHLPA Rejected Proposal/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/21/2012 08:39:00 PM
USA Today: Released an updated 10/21 article with some details of the NHLPA proposal. 

NHLPA Website: As of Sunday PM has not put their complete offers with all specifics on their website.

NYIFC Comments:
I wanted folks to have both sides complete offers to judge for themselves. Obviously media involved is far to biased in most cases to extreme.

For myself, it's insulting defending corporate owners who created this problem with a history of their teams as stand alone businesses not being profitable.

Comcast sending the Flyers money to front-load contracts does not mean the Flyers are profitable.

Cablevision sending Msg Network 140m dollars does not mean the Rangers are profitable here in 2010.

Chicago Tribune: Rocky Wirtz needing his other businesses to make Hawks payroll in 2010 on cash calls does not mean the Hawks make money by themselves.

On the other side of this NHL players making 2.5m on avg receiving massive front-loaded deals many with NTC/NMC have hardly been treated unfairly.

Zach Parise got his ten million dollar signing bonus already here  plus the players are owed their 2011-12 escrow payments from last CBA.

All the rhetoric aside, if the NHL offer guarantees full contracts signed in the last CBA with no rollbacks the NHLPA should be willing to accept that with a 50/50 revenue split if it means the players get some of that money later as opposed to sooner. 

The players should not have to forfeit one penny of binding agreements this time around.

I'm sorry to write my impression of Donald Fehr is he was too slow to get started and seems very comfortable with letting Bettman have another lockout on his resume.

Fehr has his resume too that includes baseball losing a world series on his watch, competitive balance in terms of payroll was ruined under his tenure.

He was not hired to make owners pay players less, it's not his problem that owners overspend or find loopholes that them to make these offers.
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There is no Sunday update on a possible injury to Calvin deHaan from game at WBS.


10/18/12

NHLPA Counter Offers To Bettman " A Step Backwards "

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/18/2012 05:49:00 PM
NHL.com Negotiations broke off quickly on Thursday after Gary Bettman rejected the NHLPA's three counter-offers. 

"The Players' Association came back and basically made three alternate proposals on the players' share, all variations, to some degree, of the one proposal that they made over the summer and really haven't deviated from since," Commissioner Bettman said. "And none of the three variations of players' share that they gave us even began to approach 50-50 (revenue split) either at all or for some long period of time and it's clear that we're not speaking the same language in terms of what they came back to us with.

"It is still my hope that we can accomplish my goal, the League's goal of getting an 82-game season, but I am concerned based on the proposal that was made today that things are not progressing. To the contrary, I think the proposal that was made by the Players' Association was in many ways a step backward."

NHLPA/Donald Fehr: Has not relased a counterproposal for public viewing or a statement at this time. 

To be fair I have to write Mr Fehr has hundreds of players, agents world-wide to communicate with in this process. The NHL has only thirty owners as it's board of governors. 

Updated: NHLPA Donald Fehr 25 minute video statement.

NYIFC Comments: 
Sorry folks, I do not wish to only provide the NHL's side, however the NHLPA site does not document or release information as the league does.

I wish for my readers to have all details equally from both sides.

All this blog can do is post the link to the NHLPA site, hoping they give the public the same specifics the league has so folks can see all offers, and decide for themselves. 

I will not use professional media twittering sketchy details of what the PA offered via sources, that's not what providing information is about. Hopefully the PA does show it's offers in the near future.

Bottom line, the rejection of the the league offer, the rejection of the NHLPA counter-offer, and talks breaking off likely mean unless one sides changes their mind there will not be an 82 game season.

What I can write of my own view is if the full season is eventually cancelled, someday when a settlement comes there will be a player or two wondering why they did not accept these terms revisiting this day.

As far as the owners rejected offer what I have learned after two CBA agreements where I believed a system was crafted which had no loopholes for corporate owners to exploit was they could and did.

10/17/12

Complete Details of NHL Offer

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/17/2012 04:35:00 PM
NHL.com: Releases the full details of their offer to the NHLPA here with  text.

NYIFC Comments:
Some things do stand out which can be interpreted different ways, until we know what the NHLPA response is to write more simply could be wasting time.

Donald Fehr, I have little doubt will want much more in terms of concessions, but this does shift the burden for a continued lockout to him.

Updated: AP: Fehr has made clear he's not a big fan of this offer.

Bottom line these are the terms Charles Wang has agreed to as an NHL owner in a new CBA which appear to give him possible revenue sharing, will lose the rights to Kirill Petrov entirely, and will force all NHL owners to make the cap floor without performance bonuses which is much tougher when you draft top prospects, who all receive the same the standard ELC bonus contract.

 • 2012/13 Payroll Range
Lower Limit = $43.9 Million
Midpoint = $51.9 Million
Upper Limit = $59.9 Million

 • Appropriate "Transition Rules" to allow Clubs to exceed Upper Limit for the 2012/13 season only (but in no event will Club's Averaged Club Salary be permitted to exceed the pre-CBA Upper Limit of $70.2 Million).

 • Money paid to Players on NHL SPCs (one-ways and two-ways) in another professional league will not be counted against the Players' Share, but all dollars paid in excess of $105,000 will be counted against the NHL Club's Averaged Club Salary for the period during which such Player is being paid under his SPC while playing in another professional league.

• In the context of Player Trades, participating Clubs will be permitted to allocate Cap charges and related salary payment obligations between them, subject to specified parameters. Specifically, Clubs may agree to retain, for each of the remaining years of the Player's SPC, no more than the lesser of: (i) $3 million of a particular SPC's Cap charge or (ii) 50 percent of the SPC's AAV ("Retained Salary Transaction"). In any Retained Salary Transaction, salary obligations as between Clubs would be allocated on the same percentage basis as Cap charges are being allocated. So, for instance, if an assigning Club agrees to retain 30% of an SPC's Cap charge over the balance of its term, it will also retain an obligation to reimburse the acquiring Club 30% of the Player's contractual compensation in each of the remaining years of the contract. A Club may not have more than two (2) contracts as to which Cap charges have been allocated between Clubs in a Player Trade, and no more than $5 million in allocated Cap charges in the aggregate in any one season.

5. Cap Accounting:
• Payroll Lower Limit must be satisfied without performance bonuses.

6. System Changes:
• Entry Level System commitment will be limited to two (2) years (covering two full seasons) for all Players who sign their first SPC between the ages of 18 and 24 (i.e., where the first year of the SPC only covers a partial season, SPC must be for three (3) years).

• Maintenance of existing Salary Arbitration System subject to: (i) total mutuality of rights with regard to election as between Player and Club, and (ii) eligibility for election moved to five years of professional experience (from the current four years).

• Group 3 UFA eligibility for Players who are 28 or who have eight (8) Accrued Seasons (continues to allow for early UFA eligibility -- age 26).

• Maximum contract length of five (5) years.

• Limit on year-to-year salary variability on multi-year SPCs -- i.e., maximum increase or decrease in total compensation (salary and bonuses) year-over-year limited to 5% of the value of the first year of the contract. (For example, if a Player earns $10 million in total compensation in Year 1 of his SPC, his compensation (salary and bonuses) cannot increase or decrease by more than $500,000 in any subsequent year of his SPC.)

• Re-Entry waivers will be eliminated, consistent with the Cap Accounting proposal relating to the treatment of Players on NHL SPCs playing in another professional league.

• NHL Clubs who draft European Players obtain four (4) years of exclusive negotiating rights following selection in the Draft. If the four-year period expires, Player will be eligible to enter the League as a Free Agent and will not be subject to re-entering the Draft.


7. Revenue Sharing:
• Current "Disqualification" criteria in CBA (for Clubs in Top Half of League revenues and Clubs in large media markets) will be removed.

New York Notables: CBA, Oilers Want More From Taxpayers

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/17/2012 10:32:00 AM
The only comment I will write beyond the 5/16 entry on the CBA is this blog does not do leaked speculation, guesswork or the usual source-game on other details of the CBA.

There is a lot more to be done which this blog touched upon, when the league or NHLPA get specific, so will this blog about those issues. 

For many this is about page-views so they need to write about something/anything. For others it's what suits their market best which is just a media/blogger game with many editors pulling the writers string because they need x teams advertising or are fans of the teams they cover.

Of course there is a segment of the media who act like the pr wing of the NHLPA, they want their local team to have spending advantages/more subjects to write about. 

The New York Islanders do not have a professional media or a home newspaper, they have the worst media of any professional team in North America. The lack of professional,  credible reporting on the club leads some to whatever is written anywhere.

That's a waste of your time. 

The lockout is not a story in New York, same as 2004-05, it cannot compete with the big market sports. 
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NHL.com Apparently the Edmonton Journal/Sun or Canadian papers are not Dolan's Newsday in a very big rush to push out the New York Islanders who's lease expires a year before the Isles. For the Oilers owner, Darryl Katz, they demand more taxpayer funding & more. (which all New York/New Jersey teams receive)

Compare this with what Charles Wang was willing to sign a lease agreement for last summer, look at what Nassau is offering today (nothing) vs Edmonton. Mr Katz did not spend close to nine years, his share of twenty million dollars for his first plan with no return.

Katz will not even meet with the local government, he did apologize recently for his conduct in Seattle.

Under the original deal, city taxpayers and ticket buyers would pay to build the arena, which was initially pegged at $450 million. But with land, borrowing and surrounding infrastructure factored in the price is now at $700 million and rising.

The Oilers would keep all profits from NHL games, trade shows, concerts and other events for 11 months out of the year. The team would also keep naming rights for the building (worth up to $3 million a year), along with $2 million a year from the city for a decade for advertising.

Concession sales alone are pegged at $20 million a year.

In return, the Oilers would pay the city $5.5 million a year for 35 years and pay to operate and run the arena, pegged at $10 million a year.

Katz, however, said the franchise is bleeding money. Along with the $6 million, the Oilers are also reportedly seeking tax breaks and a casino licence. The Oilers say the city can afford its new demands because the estimated $1.2 billion in extra money that will fill city coffers due to rising property values around the arena will actually be closer to $2 billion.
**********************************************
For those scoring at home, I have not forgotten about former LA Daily News beatwriter turned team blogger, Rich Hammond deciding to leave the Kings to cover another sport because the NHL media relations office (the one run by former Ranger Daily News die-hard John Dellapina, banned by the NHL media website during the last lockout which includes former Ranger die-hard, Frank Brown) deciding Hammond interviewing prospects about the lockout as a Kings employee was not acceptable.

The hypocrisy banned professional writer Dellapina displayed in 2004-05 vs NHL media relations coordinator Dellapina displays in 2012 is disappointing.

It should be noted the Orange County Register who hired Hammond did not add him for hockey coverage (they have had a long-time dedicated Ducks beat)  in a market that barely acknowledges hockey, even when finally winning a Stanley Cup.

Hammond as a beat writer for the Los Angeles Daily News could interview anyone his editor allowed, however as an employee of the Los Angeles Kings, he must follow the NHL policy on how team employees conduct themselves, his obvious issue is with the NHL, not the Kings by his words so he decided to move on. 

Mr Hammond proved a team sponsored blog can work when it's done by an experienced professional writer who understood how to cover games, players, and tell a teams story that was hardly a playoff lock in 2012. Mr Hammond did not turn the Kings management into reality television despite many losing seasons or bring an agenda to the table for the purpose of making himself the story. 

Hammond did not go to the Larry Brooks school of shock-jock journalism which is why his work connected. 

There will be no PHWA (professional hockey writers association) comment/protection here because when Mr Hammond joined an NHL organization he was no longer part of that group.

As a New York Islander employee, Chris King, cannot go interview Travis Hamonic about lockout negotiations. Don Laibel Utica Observer Dispatch, who has interviewed King/many with ties to the Islanders working for a newspaper last summer is not bound by NHL rules.
************************************************
For those scoring at home the heavily promoted Nets preseason opener received only an announced 14,000+ attendance rating for a Monday night game. 

Hockey would have received far less regardless who participated.


10/16/12

NHL Makes 50/50-No Salary Rollback Offer

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/16/2012 03:55:00 PM
NHL.com Gary Bettman announced a new offer to the NHLPA that allows an 82 game schedule beginning 11/2. 

Donald Fehr he needs time to review the offer. 

Both Bettman/Fehr have given video interviews.

NHL.com Transcript of Bettman's Comments

NYIFC Comments:
Obviously this is the final chance for an 82 game schedule. An offer of this measure also means the players existing long-term front-loaded contracts will be honored in full which no doubt most players will want to accept.

If Donald Fehr does not accept the offer, not even the media salesman of x market teams will be able to defend the NHLPA not accepting a 50/50 split given what the avg NHL player now makes in salary. 

The problem moving forward are issues Bettman has within his own circle of owners on salary cap, front-loading, length of contracts, and how many NTC/NMC a team can carry. A league where you have seventy million dollar teams front-loading, or hiding mistakes in the AHL is not a balanced system.

There cannot be collusion not to front-load or make long-term offers, it has to be part of a binding agreement on player contracts with the NHLPA.

Revenue sharing is an internal NHL decision to make among owners governing themselves with regard to their share of revenue. 

10/10/12

Rick DiPietro Signs In Germany/New York Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/10/2012 01:32:00 PM
Scriesersee.de: Reports Rick DiPietro has signed in a German League and will have a press conference with their season opening on 10/14.

NYIFC Comments:
This blog has not been covering the many NHL Islander players signing in Europe/KHL. (sidebar links have been following transactions) DiPietro is a little different because no one on the current roster needs to play hockey more, and this is his chance to work off the game rust that practice does not provide.

Obviously DiPietro/agent secured the necessary insurance of his NHL contract, however any sustained injury means if a lockout were settled, the Islanders would no longer be required to pay the remainder of his contract if he were hurt playing in another league.

Of course the same holds true for all players.

What this blogger wants most is Rick DiPietro with the rust off his game, finally ready to return to the franchise goaltender/all-star he was in 2007-08.

New York Roster:
To the best of my knowledge Evgeny Nabokov, Matt Moulson, Brad Boyes, Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey, Marty Reasoner, Eric Boulton, Matt Carkner are the current New York Islander roster players yet to sign with a team in a European/North American league not counting their unsigned departed UFA.

Bridgeport Roster:
Travis Hamonic, Nino Niederreiter, David Ullstrom, Casey Cizikas, Matt Donovan, Calvin deHaan, Aaron Ness, Ty Wishart, Anders Nilsson, Kevin Poulin are in Bridgeport.

Ryan Strome, Griffin Reinhart/draft picks are in juniors or college/europe.

NHL/NHLPA Negotiations:
Things are running as expected with Donald Fehr, threatening to repeal the salary cap which means get ready for what will likely be a season without NHL hockey.

Media Game:
 Market-based media are doing the sales job selling what suits their career/editor's interest as the selective reporting standards are frankly disappointing.

It's disingenuous some media speculate on what franchises are profitable vs which ones spend more to lose more only looking at revenue which this blog contends often is not profit or a sustainable business model.

I guess for those media if a billion dollar company can lose 20-30m a year for a sports team/trophy purchase, it's survival of the richest corporations if it's the team they cover. 

Big Market/Small Market
There are no big hockey markets in the US, unless you want to include markets with no competition from other sports.

New York is invisible in terms of hockey. 

10/6/12

Bridgeport Sends Ken Reiter To Fort Wayne ECHL

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2012 07:34:00 PM
Sound Tigers website: Reports Ken Reiter was sent for Fort Wayne of the ECHL. 

Bridgeport finished it's preseason 1-1, off games that were only scheduled a few weeks ago. Travis Hamonic left after one period Friday with an injury being called slight/precautionary by new head coach, Scott Pellerin.

Islanders website: Has been updating Bridgeport on a daily basis.

Fort Wayne is currently affiliated with the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks, as well as the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies and Norfolk Admirals

More players need to be cut before next Friday's opener. 

NYIFC Comments:
Not earth shattering news but worth an update. Bridgeport opened last season with three goaltenders. Mikko Koskinen started last year with Bridgeport before being loaned to a team in Europe, he declined the Isles qualifying offer, and signed in Europe for 2012-13, however the Isles retain his NHL rights. 

New York/Bridgeport had no ECHL affiliate last season. Ft Wayne Komets are an ECHL expansion club playing their inaugural season.

10/5/12

Wang vs Dolan On Cable Contract/Territorial Rights Buyout

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/05/2012 08:24:00 AM
Anyone who believes James Dolan, who took a tantrum over hockey coverage costs in 2005, fighting with another former Msg President Mike McCarthy here , who pulled the Isles pregame one year for a month, and fought them over $50,000 for the Metro Ice Challenge is simply going to pay Charles Wang well over a hundred million dollars for a cable contract that runs until 2030/territorial rights simply has not been paying attention.

Terms of the Cable Contract? 
NY Times: Going back to 1998 we know how the Dolan's reacted when they signed a new agreement until 2030 that gave the Isles eighteen percent of all Msg/Fox television revenue.  

The Garden invoked a phony competition clause and pulled Islander games.

In 1999 Charles Dolan discussed the competition clause he obviously never invoked on his own laughingstock teams but we did get the only documented terms of the updated cable deal.

Cablevision recoiled at the possibility of paying the Islanders 18 1/2 percent of total FSNY-MSG revenues. In the talks, the team got an extension through the 2030-31 season, which features yearly payments rising from $14.8 million next season and $17.5 million in 2000-1 to $36 million in the final year, and the possibility of lousy performances causing a breach disappeared from the final contract.
In November 2004, the Devils no longer with Yankee-Nets resigned with Msg until 2023-24.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but officials on both sides said the deal will give the Devils substantially more than the roughly $8 million rights fee the team was to receive this season.   In the past fans have complained when Devils games were broadcast on the Metro Channel, which is only available on Cablevision-owned systems. But Lamoriello said MSG and FSNY,  owned by Cablevision, assured him that will no longer happen.

"In this agreement we were able to look at all areas to help the franchise," Lamoriello said. "We wanted to ensure accessibility for all of our games to all our fans and we have a commitment to work that out." "What we were able to work out was the best decision for the franchise going forward," Lamoriello said. "Timing is everything in life."
Note-That is one reason why the New York Islanders received one game on Msg last season, and zero most other years while the Devils appear frequently on Msg.

To be fair as a Time Warner subscriber Metroguide was used during the Islander-Leafs 2002 playoffs, it was limited, but never a Cablevision-only channel. 

Guess that agreement did not cover playoff post-game road coverage for Lamoriello in 2012. 

How Much Is That Until 2030? 
Frankly, a full total of the cable contract has never been provided, nor have the Dolan's discussed the numbers which they will not do in a publication they now own. We can low estimate if the number remained at it's 2000-2001 level from 2012-13 at 17.5 million until 2029-30 that would come to 297 million, plus another 36 million for 2030-31.

333 million from this point forward if there has no been no increase since 2000-01, for years I listed the total around 300m so what I read in professional media could have been poorly done.

What Voids The Contract? 
That's easy, the franchise relocating out of their territorial rights area which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Suffolk, and a portion of Ct.

Territorial Rights? 
Four million when the Islanders joined the NHL in 1972, it's likely worth a great deal more today, and especially to the Dolan's if those rights were vacated.   

NY Times: In 1987 Devils owner John McMullen discussed how much he had to pay the Islanders, Flyers and Rangers in territorial rights fees so we have more background beyond 1972.

So What Does Charles Wang Do? 
Charles Wang purchased the Marriott Hotel in 2005, he bought out Scott Rechler's share in 2010, and the total cost was reportedly ninety million dollars at the time of purchase. He owns the abatement (walk of champions area) between the hotel and the Coliseum permanently.

He has no reason to ever move this team as long as he retains ownership, his actions in 2011 agreeing to a thirty year lease extension with a rent/revenue split, far worse than the deals ownership was offered in Edmonton/Phoenix (where owners get paid to manage facilities) made that very clear.

As to what he does now that's easy, he's not advertising any move/sale out of his territorial rights area because it means Dolan has no obligation to pay him anything. If he does decide to sell locally he's going to want from a potential owner his share of that future cable contract money as part of the purchase price.

Perhaps he also wants a potential owner to purchase the Marriott as part of the package to keep the club on that site?

This does not even touch Wang's ownership, management in Bridgeport until 2021 or the lease with Bridgeport to manage Webster Bank Arena which he renovated, with more city renovations planned in 2012 page 23.


What Will Dolan Do?
First off in 2001 it was reported the Knicks own territorial rights on Long Island here. 
The Dolan's needed Nets ownership approval in 1996 which is how the Nets got territorial rights in Brooklyn here.

Dolan's going to see what Wang's best offer is if he eventually decides to sell, give him a big cable/territorial rights buyout to take the team out of his television market if an out of town offer equals a local offer.

Dolan's not going to offer him anything if there are no competing offer of equal value. 

Ultimately:
Sorry folks, if  CharlesWang's final decision is to sell the New York Islanders, he has every reason to make back every penny he invested in this franchise since the day he purchased it (not even counting his share of the 20m Lighthouse Project) and protect himself/family above anything else.

Having written this, I absolutely believe there are too many financial reasons for Charles Wang  to retain the team at the Coliseum site permanently, and plenty of time based upon what's happened in Pittsburgh or Edmonton, who's lease expires a full year before the Isles. 

On May 16th 2011, this blog posted an entry titled New York Islanders Will Never Leave New York. 

On March 14th 2012, this blog posted an entry titled Total Support For Charles Wang.

I'm standing by those entries. 

10/2/12

New York Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/02/2012 07:22:00 AM
Islander website has several updates/video on Bridgeport camp, along with new head coach, Scott Pellerin. 

The Hour: Has a four part article on Matt Moulson with his comments. 

NYIFC Comments:
This publication has been added to the prospect blog, the updates infrequent, but very high quality.

Ct Post: Has a feature on Anders Nilsson, and how he recovered from his March injuries.

Und.com: Reports Islander prospect, Anders Lee has been named captain for 2012-13 season.    

NYIFC Comments:
Quite an honor for a junior player in Lee. Head coach, Jeff Jackson is a former Islanders assistant coach.

Calgary Herald: Reports Griffin Reinhart is not the only player in the family who will be drafted in the future with Max, who is a Calgary Flames prospect.

Associated Press: Reports The operators of New York's Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum have been cited for 16 violations of workplace health and safety standards which Smg will contest bur claims have been addressed. 

NYIFC Comments:
This is not a New York Islander issue. Repairs to x dollar amount fall on Smg, major repairs fall on Nassau County. It should be noted Smg does have Jerry Goldman listed as the Coliseum's general manager.

New York Islander Fan Central wrote about the change on 3/5 along with speculation of possible change in Isles sublease status which has not been reported.

Bottom line there is if Wang/Rechler opted out of the December 2009 sublease, the only contractual issue keeping the Isles at the Coliseum would be Nassau County not allowing the club to move per terms of their original lease or what it's been for decades. 

Bridgeport's prospects are at his Marriott hotel, while the players work out at Iceworks.

Canadian Media Slam Sports