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Tag:Charles Wang
Posted on: January 31, 2012 3:25 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 3:29 pm

Islanders announce preseason game in Brooklyn

By Brian Stubits

There was talk a few weeks back about the Islanders playing a preseason game at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn before next season. The building is so new it isn't even open yet.

It's more than just talk now.

On Tuesday the Isles announced that they will play the first NHL game in Barclays Center, an Oct. 2 exhibition against the New Jersey Devils. If the speculation wasn't strong enough already about the arena in Brooklyn being a new home for the Islanders in a couple of years, it's sure to ratchet up now.

“We’re extremely excited to play the first NHL game in the new, state-of-the-art Barclays Center,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “We already have some of the most passionate fans in the league supporting our young team, and we are looking forward to expanding our base into Brooklyn.”

The high amount of intrigue in a preseason game, of course, surrounds the viability of Barclays as an NHL arena and the possibility of it being a new home for the Isles considering their past failures to secure a new arena in Nassau County.

And it's actually led to some politicking from Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark.

"It will be good for the Islanders to see what playing in a state of the art venue feels like," Yormark said. He continued by saying "We'd love for Charles to consider Brooklyn." He's talking about as a home for the Islanders and Charles refers to Isles owner Charles Wang.

Not to be outdone, Nassau County politician Ed Mangano, who spearheaded the effort to get a new arena built in Uniondale, weighed in on the team's upcoming visit closer toward Manhattan.

“I hope their experience in Brooklyn reaffirms why they should be playing hockey in Nassau County," Mangano said.

No matter how well it might or might not go for the Islanders in the exhibition, the one big hurdle to clear with the Barclays Center is the hockey seating capacity of only 14,500, less than Winnipeg's NHL-lowest MTS Centre. But considering the Islanders are averaging 12,670 this season, I don't see much of a problem. Supply and demand economics would make the tickets more valuable if they start hitting capacity.

What do you think: Is this the start of the Islanders getting a new home? They would still be on the Island, that beats a lot of other locales.

More from Eye on Hockey

Bettman: Would be malpractice if Isles move
Report: Barclays Center, NHL execs meet
Brooklyn's viability as a home
Arena vote fails: What's next for Isles?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:09 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 12:09 am

Report: Isles planning preseason game in Brooklyn

By Brian Stubits

Nobody knows where the New York Islanders will call home in a couple of seasons when their lease at the Nassau Coliseum is up. The people of Nassau County had the chance to make the voice hear on a new arena and they voted no, the latest in a long line of rebutted attempts by owner Charles Wang to get a new home for his team.

Since then, the future of the organization has been murkier than a swamp. That kind of uncertainty doesn't help Garth Snow build a franchise that can win in the long run (as if he needs any more obstacles).

However one of the possible options for a new home is further down Long Island toward Manhattan and the new Barclays Center going up in Brooklyn to host the NBA's Nets. That building isn't without its concerns too, such as a small seating capacity and potentially poor sight lines.

Well, the Islanders might find out pretty soon how viable the arena could be as a home. From CBS New York's WFAN:

Sources told on Thursday that the Islanders are in discussions to host a preseason game next season at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the future home of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets.

This is not the first time the Islanders have used another venue to push the reality that at the end of the 2014-15 season their lease with Nassau Coliseum ends. During the 2008-09 season when Kansas City was considered their hot relocation destination, the Islanders announced they’d be taking on the Los Angeles Kings in a preseason game the following season at the brand-new downtown Sprint Center.

If so, it'd be very interesting. If the game goes well, the front-runner (in my book) to land the Islanders could take a huge step toward being the Isles' new home. It would be a chance to answer some of the questions that loom about the arena hosting an NHL team permanantly. One of those however, that of small attendance, would remain. If the Isles made the Brooklyn arena home in a couple of years, it would be the smallest capacity in the NHL, below even Winnipeg's MTS Centre.

This could be the next step in relocating the Islanders only a few miles instead of a few hundred or even thousand miles. They can't afford to wait until the lease runs out, the uncertainty is too damaging both to the product on the ice as well as off of it. And as mentioned, the Islanders don't need any more road blocks.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: October 25, 2011 11:23 am

Bettman: Would be 'malpractice' if Islanders move

By Brian Stubits

Gary Bettman doesn't think the Islanders are going anywhere.

The commish made a stop on Mike Francesa's show on WFAN in New York and among other things, he discussed the plans to keep the Islanders where they are (not Nassau Coliseum, but Long Island).

"I refuse to accept that this team is not going to get a new building at some point," Bettman said. "[Owner] Charles Wang is committed to the Island, committed to the Islanders. He's devoted almost a decade of his life, tens of millions of dollars in pursuit of this and fortunately there are a few years left. They're not going to stay in the Nassau Coliseum no matter what, so we're going to need to come up with a solution somehow, somewhere."

That's all encouraging for Isles fans to hear. Nobody wants to lose their team.

Bettman continued:

"The team needs a new building and there has to be concrete plans on the horizon that's going to get it done otherwise we're going to have a problem," Bettman said. "I don't know exactly how we're going to solve that problem, but it's inconceivable to me that the Islanders wouldn't be on Long Island because it would be malpractice for those in charge to let that happen."

This part made my ears perk up. A "malpractice" if the Islanders were to leave New York? Well yes, I'd agree. However, why wasn't it a malpractice for the Thrashers to leave Atlanta, or the Whalers to leave Hartford? Bettman's answer probably would be simply that it was a malpractice in those spots too, but don't you think they would have liked to see the commish fight the same way?

The only differences between the Thrashers and Islanders is that the Isles didn't always suck and they are in New York. Then just swap ownership issues for arena issues and you have similar stories. It's just Bettman doesn't seem willing to let this one end the same way Atlanta's did. Which is good. I've stated many times that I don't like the idea of contraction or relocation (although at this point I think I'd be willing to bend on Phoenix).

You can listen to the entire Bettman segment here. One thing Bettman does well is interview on the radio. Just don't ask him to act in any commercials.

H/t to ESPN New York

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 4, 2011 10:32 am

Daily Skate: Marchand talks heat; Queens option

By Brian Stubits

LET'S MAKE A DEAL: Now that everybody is starting to come down from their Stanley Cup highs in Boston, the Bruins and Brad Marchand are getting down to business. The rookie was solid last season but really broke out in the postseason and now he's a restricted free agent, but thus far next to no work has been done on getting him a new contract. But according to ESPN Boston, the sides are beginning to talk and are taking steps toward reaching each other's goal: keeping Marchand in a B's sweater for a lot longer.

ALL HAIL THE QUEENS: When discussing the future of the Islanders, I discussed a lot of future homes for the team if it leaves Nassau County. I neglected to mention the borough of Queens because once upon a time the deal seemed to be in partnership with Jeff Wilpon, the Mets owner who has seen wealth diminish since being caught in the Bernie Madoff scandal. But it's clearly still an option, and a very viable one at that. Whenever/if Charles Wang decides to move on from Nassau, he would be wise to approach Queens about a new home right next to Citi Field and the U.S. Tennis Center. The borough would certainly be receptive (Via Islanders Point Blank).

NUGENT-HOPKINS' DREAM SEASON: Goal No. 1 for the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is to make the Oilers roster. If he does, he would love it if the team would loan him to Canada's National Junior squad around Christmas time. After not making the roster for the national team in 2010, RNH tells the Edmonton Journal that he'd love to get a shot to represent his country.

KRONWALL'S TASK: The Red Wings took to rebuilding their defensive corps this offseason, partly because of retirement. The team lost Brian Rafalski to the world or relaxation and now will have to find a way to offset his loss. That could be the job of Niklas Kronwall to step in and play major minutes. The Detroit Free Press looks at his role in Detroit for next season. All I know is that more minutes means more chances for opponents to be Kronwalled.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 2, 2011 3:28 pm

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

By Brian Stubits

The morning after the Islanders' arena hopes were shot down by the voters of Long Island, life goes on. And it hasn't taken long for the possibilities for the future of the franchise to take shape.

If the team isn't able to secure a home in Uniondale for 2016 and beyond, the team will find a new home and the first place that comes to mind is Brooklyn. I discussed that option a bit yesterday, noting the viability of moving the team just a little ways west.

But that might not be as sure shot as it appeared on first glance. Yes, there will be a fancy new arena that will host the Nets, and yes it will have ice rink capabilities. However, the problem lies in the amount of seats it could fit for hockey. The capacity of the arena for basketball is listed at 18,000, but to make the arena work for hockey, it would have to be cut to 14,000-15,000. That would make it the smallest arena in the NHL, smaller than Winnipeg's MTS Centre.

It would be a very tough sell, but not an impossible one. If it came down to the only viable option to remain in the New York area, you'd have to think Gary Bettman would be able to swallow the pill a little easier. He doesn't want to uproot teams -- see Phoenix -- and especially wouldn't be exicted about taking a team from a market like New York. That's if the Nets and Barclays Center would consent to the Isles sharing the joint.

"We will continue to work closely with the Islanders to explore whatever options still may be available in light of what obviously is not a positive department," Bettman said in a statement to Islanders Point Blank. "Our goal is for the team to remain on Long Island and we still hope that objective can be realized."

On the ownership side, it sure shounds like you can cross Russian tycoon and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov out of the mix. He has made it known that he isn't interested in buying any other sports teams right now. Now that isn't a big hurdle, Wang could hold onto the team himself or find some other owner from the area. In New York, that's not a terribly tough task.

At this point, Wang and the Islanders aren't talking about the future home of the team, just its future on the ice. But behind the scenes, they have to be thinking about their next move. If they are going to stay in the area, which still seems the most likely to happen, they need to start the process now. Arenas don't just go up over night.

As for the land where the arena currently sits? Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is moving on to Plan B, asking for proposals for people interested in the land. That doesn't include or exclude the arena sticking around.

"We're looking for a vision on what we have and what will become available in 2015," Mangano was quoted as saying by Newsday.

While it is still way too early to say what will happen to the Islanders and the land, it's certainly cloudier today than it was this time a week ago.


For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 2, 2011 12:11 am

Islanders arena vote fails: What now?

By Brian Stubits

'Tis a sad, sad day not only on Long Island, but in the NHL. With the vote on a new arena for the Islanders being shot down by the people of Nassau County, it seems to be a lock that the team will be looking for greener pastures after 2015 when the lease with Nassau Coliseum runs out.

"I have to tell you I'm disappointed and to put it bluntly, I'm heartbroken," owner Charles Wang said after the votes came in.

We aren't here to rub salt in the wound for the Islanders fans. Losing a franchise is in no way a fun experience and no reason to delight. It can feel like losing a family pet to the die-hard fans. We aren't at that stage yet, and it's still very possible the Isles won't venture too far. The possibilities of playing somewhere else on Long Island certainly exist, let alone staying in Nassau County. But it's also a possibility they desert the Island.

If the team were to move, the first question that would have to be answered is who, exactly, would own the team? Once upon a time, Wang admitted regret to buying the franchise, saying he wouldn't do it again. This could be his chance to sell if he so chooses.

At this point, though, Wang is staying mum about the future of the team, instead saying he wants to focus on next season. That doesn't do much to calm the worries of fearful fans.

Whether he sells or not, though, the team almost certainly won't be playing in Nassau Coliseum after 2015. That much Wang has made pretty clear. But who knows? At this point, there's a long way to go. His tough-line stance certainly could have been a ploy to increase the sense of urgency on the matter. I doubt it, but then again I doubt that the Islanders are content to sit around for four more years, listening to relocation chatter, either.

If they do move -- still a pretty big if -- here's a look at the potential homes.

Brooklyn: Yes, the team might not actually leave the tri-state area. Early this year, it was reported that Nelson Peltz had interest in buying the team and moving it to Brooklyn, to share the not-yet open arena that will serve as the new home of the NBA's Nets. Whether or not Wang sells the team to Peltz (how about Nets owner and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov?) or keeps it for himself, the borough could be a potential landing spot that keeps everything mostly in tact. It becomes a little bit further of a commute for the majority of the fan base that lives on Long Island, but it beats seeing the team move more than an hour away. Aside from a passing vote tonight or another county on Long Island stepping up to build an arena, this would be the next best solution.

Quebec City: Ever since losing the Nordiques to Colorado in 1996, the fans in Quebec have been dying to see the NHL return, much the same as the fans in Winnipeg. Just check out the wonderful simplicity of Of the out-of-state options, Quebec seems to be in the best shape considering it has a potential owner in Pierre Karl Peladeau, the chairman of media giant Quebecor. The kicker is that, while Quebec City doesn't have an arena right now to hot a team, it plans to by2015, which would work perfectly with a potential Islanders move.

Kansas City: Sure, there is an arena available (the still new Sprint Center doesn't have a primary tenant), but who would own the team if Wang looks to sell? That's the golden question. The fear is growing in Kansas City that it built a new arena on the belief it could land either an NHL or NBA franchise but won't get either. It could soon become a reality.

Houston: There isn't tremendous appeal to Houston other than it being a massive market. But it's a city that continues to get mentioned on the back end of the lists for relocation, mainly because of the market size and that it has an arena. But the hurdles (non-traditional hockey market, no prospective owner) are tough to clear under the assumption that the team would be sold.

Seattle: It doesn't have a clear owner (although a group expressed interest to the league) and it doesn't have a suitable arena. After watching the NBA's SuperSonics fly the coop because of a refusal to publicly build an arena, you wouldn't think there would enough support before a team is even in town to build a new arena. At this moment in time, a very long shot.

Milwaukee: I'll just continue to ask why this city never gets more consideration. It's a good state for hockey and a team could share the Bradley Center with the NBA's Bucks. The Kohl family could probably afford it no problem.

Hamilton: We have to throw it on the list because, quite frankly, the number of markets is drying up fast for the NHL to move in to. You have to wonder if Gary Bettman and the Maple Leafs would be OK with another team in southern Ontario when faced with a possible alternative of contraction. No commissioner wants to have that on their resume. But we know there is an owner who would want it (Jim Balsillie) and who has shown a willingness to build a new arena.

Long Island: Pick the county, any county. The leg work would have to begin now, but it would in the end be great to see the team stay (mostly) put.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 26, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 1:52 pm

What's at stake: Islanders arena vote on Aug. 1

By Brian Stubits

Not since the 1980s have the Islanders seen a day as important as Monday. That's when the people of Long Island will take to the polls to address the issue of a new arena for the Isles.

Owner Charles Wang has been trying for a long time to secure a new place for his team to play, but this is it. He has said this is his final effort, and if the answer is no the team will pack up and move out. Nassau Coliseum just won't cut it anymore for the franchise after serving as its home for 40 seasons.

With only a few days before the vote, now is the time for the media blitz to bring attention to the effort. That's what Wang and the organization are doing for the next few days, campaigning for yes votes. The team website is having a contest for the best fan video, the above video being an example. Even the Blue Oyster Cult is pitching in.

So what exactly are the people of Long Island voting on? From the team's release:

  The plan, which includes a new arena to be constructed at the Nassau Coliseum site as well as a minor league ballpark, will generate 4,500 jobs and $403 million in profit for tax relief for Nassau County residents.

  The construction of a new sports arena, which, in part, hosts hockey season from October to April annually and a minor league ballpark stadium that hosts baseball season from April to October. This approach generates jobs and revenue year round. It is the seed of growing a sports-entertainment destination center in Nassau County.

  The new arena will also host a wide array of first-rate family shows and musical acts, including the circus and large-scale exhibitions. Other various improvements made to the surrounding area may involve the properties at Museum Row and the former Navy property near Nassau Community College.

  New revenue streams created by the new sports and entertainment complex to the tune of $1.2 billion will fill the county coffers and benefit tax payers. Islanders owner Charles Wang, in a unique partnership with the County will completely pay off the new arena, and there will be $403 million in profit for Nassau County.

It all sounds pretty good, but of course there will be taxes that will also contribute to the building. The emotional reaction of raising taxes is the biggest obstacle for the team to fight. Never mind the fact that losing the primary tenant of the arena will cause collateral damage to the area and arena, which will likely require taxes to help with the keep up and lost income.

But like any vote, it has its detractors. Local democrat majorty leader Jay Jacobs has been the biggest foe to the plan, trying to quash it. And in a rare example of when they can agree on money, Tea Party republicans are on the same side as Jacobs in opposition.

From Chris Botta at NYI Point Blank: "A Newsday poll declares that Nassau residents want the Islanders to stay, but 51 percent are against using tax dollars to fund the project. An additional 12 percent of residents are undecided."

With all that said, it's a very scary time for Islanders fans. Right now they are doing all they can to get the vote out, as even displaced fans are doing their part.

As somebody who saw his favorite NBA team relocate, it's never fun to see teams uprooted, let alone ones that have four championships to their credit. Here's hoping the Yes effort prevails.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or