Sporting News – For years New York Islanders fans have wanted Charles Wang to sell the franchise. They might soon get their wish. Bob McKenzie of Canada’s TSN.ca reported Thursday night that Wang is willing to relinquish control of the team he has owned in whole or in part since 2000. Curious. The club is a year away from playing out its lease at outdated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., and moving to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, home of the NBA’s Nets. Does Wang not see a bright future for his team there? Or, is Wang in such bad financial shape that he needs to sell? TSN.ca noted the team reportedly is losing $10 million a year and Wang reportedly has a $75 million loan payment due after this season. The Isles have enjoyed little success since winning four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983. They’ve made the playoffs twice in Wang’s nine seasons as principal owner. They will miss the postseason again in 2014 and could finish last in the Eastern Conference. Wang, meanwhile, has seemed content to run a salary-floor team at least until the move to Brooklyn. New York’s payroll is 29th in the league, according to capgeek.com.
Glory, Glory Hallelujah! Islanders prayers have finally been answered. All of the Little Brother Franchises of New York sports can all point directly to ownership as their main issue. The Jets have Woody and his obsession with headlines, the Mets have Wilpon perpetually headed to the Poor House, and up until Phil Jackson, the Knicks had a power hungry doofus in James Dolan running the show. But the Islanders could arguably have the worst ownership situation in all of New York. First of all, he’s an Asian owning a hockey team. If you don’t think thats doomed from the start, then I don’t know what to tell you. There are some things that are just not gonna work and an Asian hockey owner is one of them.
Secondly, Wang has been more concerned with his Long Island shopping mall than anything. Stupid goddam Lighthouse Project. Nobody comes to the Coliseum because the product on the ice sucks, but his solution is to spend his money on hotels and minor league baseball stadiums and neighborhoods rather than spend it on the team. Dude is more interested in playing SIM City and building Pleasantville than he is in NHL hockey.
Thirdly he’s blatantly said he would have never bought the team had he known things were going to play out the way they did. Had he known that he wasn’t gonna get the funding for a new stadium and wasn’t gonna get approval for building his little Long Island metropolis, he would have never bought the Islanders. Which is just fucking outrageous. Guy has no interest in being an NHL owner. Just sell this team and move on with your life you wacky Asian man.
New owner with the brains to fire Garth Snow immediately. New top notch home in Barclay. New franchise image with John Tavares in his prime. If there are any sort of Sports Gods, they will allow this to happen.