Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Tonelli, who won four Stanley Cup championships with the Islanders, thinks the addition of Jaroslav Halak and backup netminder Chad Johnson could be huge for the Isles this season as they try to make it back to the playoffs after a disappointing 26th place finish last year.
“I think they made a great move getting some goaltending help. It’s tough for one guy to carry the load and it always helps when you bring in another guy,” said Tonelli, who played in front of the legendary Billy Smith during the Isles’ dynasty days. “Goaltending seems to be the key ... it starts from there, taking care of your own end.”
And dynamic young center John Tavares gives the Islanders an electrifying element.
“He’s just such a pleasure to watch,” Tonelli said. “You know, he’s exciting to watch and he wants to lead by example. He wants to be there. He wants to see the Islanders become a great team. As a former player for the Islanders organization, that’s what it’s all about. We all want it to be there. We all wanted to be part of a great team. I see that in [Tavares].”
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
The popular response yesterday was somewhere between "Yippeeee!" and "Here we go again." Islanders fans were ecstatic to hear that finally there was hope because the team will change hands. They are also realistic enough to know they felt exactly the same way when Charles Wang bought the team 14 years ago.
On these very pages back then, one fan was quoted as saying, "What does this mean? Hope." Another said, "Things can only get better."
We all should be wary, but for the life of us, people here can't help feeling that way again. Yes, yes, we remember the "Gang of Four" and "the Millstones" and the incomparable John Spano. Wang was supposed to make us forget all of them. Sometimes, he made us wish we had them back.
Fact is, it just has not worked out. It has not worked out for Wang, what with reported losses of $20 million a year. And it sure has not worked out for the team, with its embarrassing streak of not having won a playoff series since 1993. They have flirted with the worst fate a pro team can have: appearing irrelevant in its own market.
Things can only get better. For once, they just might.
The one huge reason is that this time, the buyers know they are getting only a hockey team and not a real estate bonanza.
UNIONDALE, NY (August 19, 2014) – The New York Islanders announced today that a group led by former Washington Capitals co-owner Jon Ledecky and London based investor Scott Malkin has reached a definitive agreement, subject to NHL approval, to purchase a substantial minority interest in the team. Under the terms of the agreement, Charles Wang will continue as majority shareholder and Governor of the Islanders, with the Ledecky/Malkin group transitioning to majority owner in two years.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to become partners in the New York Islanders with Charles, and to pursue our shared dream of winning a fifth Stanley Cup for the greatest fans in the NHL,” Mr. Ledecky said.
“I’m thrilled that Jon and Scott have agreed to join me as we start the Islanders’ final year at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum,” Mr. Wang said. “I look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
There will be no further comment until the NHL completes its franchise ownership transfer process.
added 1:49pm, from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Charles Wang has agreed to sell a minority stake in the Islanders to Jonathan Ledecky, a former co-owner of the Capitals, and investor Scott Malkin, according to a high-ranking NHL source. Ledecky and Malkin will assume majority control of the team in two years.
from Dave McCarthy of TSN,
After a solid debut season in the Ontario Hockey League as a 16-year-old with the Windsor Spitfires, finishing fourth on the team with 44 points, Ho-Sang followed it up this past year by leading his team in points (85) and assists (53) while tying for the lead in goals (32). But despite a quick and productive start to his OHL career, Ho-Sang was overlooked for Team Canada's Under 18 team in the spring, was not included on the 2013 U18 team to play at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament and was not invited to Team Canada's World Junior summer development camp roster this year.
He asks, why?
"The fact that I haven't been invited to a camp, it's insulting," Ho-Sang said frankly. "I've done nothing to them (Hockey Canada). It's not like they invited me to U17 and U18 and I messed up at all that stuff. I haven't been invited back since my first year in the OHL in December. It's been a year and a half; I haven't been a part of any Hockey Canada stuff."
But he has a philosophy as to why invites have not been coming his way.
"They can't invite me to that stuff because they're afraid," he said. "If I go there and do well, then they have no reason not to put me on the World Junior team." Asked directly why Hockey Canada wouldn't want him on that team, Ho-Sang, looking puzzled, responded, "I don't know."
from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times,
Wang knew little about hockey and made some bizarre decisions, including elevating Garth Snow, a backup goaltender, to general manager, according to Mike Milbury, a former general manager, and wanting to get rid of the team’s scouts. Milbury recalled two years ago that Wang had wanted to try out sumo wrestlers in the crease.
Wang inherited a losing team, and experienced some improvement, but he still has a losing team.
That Wang still owns the team is surprising. He banked on the Islanders’ being in a new or refurbished arena long ago, but no matter what the plan, it never worked out.
He did not move the team to possible getaway cities like Kansas City, Mo.; Quebec City; Hamilton, Ontario; or Seattle. Maybe he should have picked one and made some of his money back.
In 2003, he let me read documents that pegged the team’s losses in his first three years of ownership at $52.2 million. “It’s uncomfortable to lose money having worked so hard to make it,” Wang said at the time. “I’m investing, in one sense. The team has to be self-sustaining. This is not a church that will stay open forever.”
But it has. By 2009, Wang told Newsday that his losses had climbed to $209 million. The total is probably close to $300 million by now.
Patience has only brought Wang fiscal grief. It’s time for a new owner to try to lose less money.
from Barbara Ross of the New York Daily News,
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang was clocked with a $10 million lawsuit Monday by suitor Andrew Barroway for backing out of their deal to make a trade for $420 million.
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Barroway’s corporation, NY ICE claims the parties “shook their hands on an agreement” and NY Ice started to line up NHL approval and financing.
However, Wang “without notice, abruptly refused to proceed to close the transaction and honor the terms of their 70-page purchase agreement but instead “improperly sought to renegotiate the already agreed upon price” in March.
In midsummer, according to court papers, Wang demanded $548 million for the team. When Barroway refused, Wang notified him on Aug. 1 that he had sold the team to other bidders.
from Cory Wright of the Islanders website,
For a born winner and fierce competitor like John Tavares, a six-month summer break is just too long.
Sure, the weather’s nice and having some downtime with friends and family is great, but the Islanders captain would rather work through June.
“While the summer’s been good for other reasons, it’s been too long and I want to change that this coming season,” Tavares said. “It’s probably the longest stretch I’ve ever gone without playing. I’m looking forward to training camp and I want to finish off the summer strong and come into the year motivated with a lot to prove.”
Tavares sustained a season-ending knee injury while playing for Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in February. He played his last NHL game on Feb. 8.
Tavares missed the Islanders final 22 games, but fortunately the injury didn’t require surgery and Tavares began rehabbing immediately following his return to Long Island. He progressed through his off-ice therapy and was cleared for full skating activity in mid-May, when he began practicing with the OHL’s London Knights....
“It’s been a really good summer from a training aspect,” Tavares said. “It’s nice to focus on what I really need to work on, what I need to get better at and to get in the best shape I can for the season.”
from Robert E. Kesler of Newsday,
The former owner of a Great Neck automobile dealership was sentenced to 4 years in prison Thursday for running a $10 million fraud that tricked customers -- including two former New York Islanders -- into believing they were getting good deals on purchases, officials said.
Rick Cohen, 51, of Syosset, was also ordered to make restitution and serve 5 years of supervised release at his sentencing in federal court in Central Islip before U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert....
Among the victims of the scheme were former Islanders hockey players Mike Comrie and Mark Streit. They could not be reached for comment Thursday....
In one scheme, Cohen falsely told customers that he would use part of the sales proceeds to pay off the loan on trade-ins, the prosecutor said.
In a second scheme, Cohen told buyers that they would get the best deal by financing a car purchase with a short-term loan. But he actually had his victims sign up for long-term car loans, pocketing the long-term loan payments as they came in. Cohen also changed the addresses on the loan papers to that of his business, so dunning notices from the financing companies never reached the customers.
Comrie was cheated when he bought a Mercedes from Cohen; Streit in the purchase of a Porsche for $60,000 and a Mercedes for $70,000, according to sources familiar with the case.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The Islanders waited until Day 2 of free agency to make their splash. It was a double cannonball.
After missing out on some top targets on Tuesday, GM Garth Snow landed two quality forwards at once Wednesday afternoon, signing former Leafs wing Nikolai Kulemin to a four-year, $16.75-million deal and center Mikhail Grabovski, late of the Capitals, to a four-year, $20-million deal.
"To me, free agency is like fishing," Snow said. "You put your line in the water and you hope you get some nibbles. We got two big bites today."
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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