In short the Dolan's contract to play in the Whalers old facility in Hartford is up this coming summer, and could well be leaving. Harbor Yards Sports & Entertainment registered two Ct Ranger website domain names through 2018.
That would be the former name of the current, Webster Bank Arena, home of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. the building Charles Wang manages in Bridgeport.
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio as usual confirms the Sound Tigers have a lease until 2021 and no plans to leave a building Charles Wang operates via team President, Howard Saffan's comments that he had no idea about the registered domains.
Bottom line a facility managed by the Islanders ownership registered two future domain sites for another team via Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment in a building they are running as of April 2011.
The Hartford Courant failed to reiterate Msg kicked former Whalers owner Howard Baldwin to the curb last summer.
Bridgeport has the higher recent AHL fan support which include many free tickets among the numbers.
Yes, I read the Hartford Coutant article on this a few days earlier with Howard Saffan's comments.
If Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment are registering domain names for another team it does not make a lot of sense unless the intent is to prevent that team from using that name in the future or they really want them to move there as a tenant.
Of course Msg or anyone could register those domain names on their own as easily as I would register newyorkislanderfancentral.com each year.
Saffan makes clear this is the Islanders affiliate home.
How many times has Howard Saffan said the Sound Tigers have a binding lease until 2021? He did it pre/post referendum, and made clear the Islanders status had no bearing on that. Enough updates have been written here from Mr Saffan's interviews on the club's operation to where it made a profit last season.
Plus Charles Wang spent to renovate that building with the new scoreboard, wrap-around boards, upgrades to the facility that has been the Islanders AHL affiliate since it opened.
For those who have followed this website since 2007 or it's
predecessor, the Ct Post beatwriter, Michael Fornabaio, has always been a
little more enthusiastic about the Rangers vs the Isles so none of this
is a shock that in some manner the same Ct media, who did not lobby for
the Islanders to simply move to Manhattan, are pushing past rumors of the Ct Whale into the Bridgeport Sound Tigers home arena where they did have a home playoff game last year.
For myself, who linked to Sound Tiger articles in the Ct Post since the ground breaking, when Chris Elsberry did features/Michael Fornabaio covered every game, I have never read one past article of the Hartford Wolfpack relocating to Harbor Yard during Roy Boe's tenure or until this week.
Having written this there can be no blaming the media for Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment registering Ranger centric domain names, that's a question which must be asked.
Saffan for his part practically had to defend why the Sound Tigers should simply not leave their own building, which Charles Wang operates under a lease with Bridgeport.
Nothing was written about in 2010 if the Sound Tigers were asked about Hartford re-branding it's name as Connecticut at the time which is the Bridgeport Sound Tigers home state, or the Rangers having events on the former Harbor Yard (Webster Bank Arena) doorstep?
Imagine if Msg simply allowed the Isles to relocate into Manhattan permanently which is what I wrote about in May 2012: If There Is No Deal In Nassau, The New York Islanders Permanent Home Should Be Msg.
What's ridiculous was Fornabaio (with the Hartford Courant writer) selling the (said/unsaid) notion of how many Ranger fans are in Fairfield County, which was Hartford Whalers country, despite a lot of Bruins, Rangers, and Islander fans with Whalers fans who never embraced the Ranger brand or their AHL affiliate moving into that building almost immediately upon the Hartford Whales relocation to Carolina.
The former Hartford Wolfpack had playoff games with crowds under 2,000, the playoff game they played as a home team at Webster Bank arena last year drew even less.
Will events eventually line up where an Msg/controlled AHL team moves to the Nassau Coliseum? For those who have read this website know that's a past point I have advanced often.
It could take a few more years to answer, for 2013-14 it's a question which must be addressed soon, even if temporary.