Kukla's Korner Hockey
The NHL Board of Governors has approved the sale of the Islanders from Charles Wang to Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday.
The deal, which Bettman said has not been finalized, calls for Ledecky and Malkin to own a minority stake in the team once the deal is complete. They will assume majority control of the team in two years, with Wang remaining a minority owner.
Bettman told reporters the deal "provides an orderly transition, which was important to Charles."
NEW YORK (Sept. 30, 2014) -- The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors today unanimously approved the purchase of a minority stake in the New York Islanders by Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky. The purchase remains subject to completion of documentation and further League review before the transaction can be closed.
from Christian Arnold of Islanders Point Blank,
The building was built for basketball and concerts, so trying to fit a hockey rink into it has been a process.
The scoreboard does not hang over center ice, there are obstructed view seats and in some sections the angle of the seats forces fans to have to physically turn their bodies to watch the action. “You’re facing this way and having to turn you head the other way to see the game,” one fan said while demonstrating how he has been viewing the game from his seat. To say the least, in those areas it’s not ideal.
But for two-thirds of fans, the view will be great. Islanders Point Blank explored the arena on Friday night and found the view was equal to that of Nassau Coliseum from most sections outside of the obstructed view sections. There was a clear view of the ice, albeit a steep incline in the 200s....
There are about 400 seats, according to the New York Times, in the Barclays Center that are obstructed view and you can not see a third, or more, of the ice....
“Just know that nobody’s kidding when they say you will NOT see anything that takes place in the near end past the face-off circle unless you sit in the first photo 2-2two rows,” said McGowen, who also took a trip to the obstructed seats. “I know the ‘Yotes previous building had similar issues but it somehow seems wrong to have seats like this in a building housing an NHL team charging NHL prices. If they do sell these seats to regular season games…and people are willing to pay for obstructed view at whatever price they do end up charging, I suppose no harm, no foul, but those thinking of buying these seats really need to be aware that this is an OOUS – an Obstruction Of Unusual Size.”
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
Come opening night on Oct. 10 in Carolina, and the following night when the Hurricanes come up and play the last home-opener at the Coliseum, the pressure will be on. Since the Islanders’ inaugural season of 1972, they have called this creaky old barn on Hempstead Turnpike home, and yet come this time next season, that home will be in Brooklyn, at Barclays Center, where they play an exhibition game against the Devils on Friday night.
In the interim, Capuano is cognizant of the fact there are fans on Long Island not willing to make a trip into Atlantic Terminal, and this team, under his guidance and fueled by his motivation, is going to be the one to send this place off.
“We respect the fans, and as a coach, I probably don’t talk about it enough,” Capuano said. “Our fans, they’re the ones that pay the money, they’re the ones that want the excitement and to see their team win. That’s the one thing I want to try to shore up this year — that our home record is better.”
“When they leave this building — even if we lose a hockey game — we played fast, we played physical, we gave them their money’s worth.”
from Stephen Lorenzo of the New York Daily News,
The Islanders entered training camp in 2013 with some optimism after reaching the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. But after a season in the basement of the Metropolitan Division in 2013-14, the Islanders arrived at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday to open training camp with a bit more fire and a sense of urgency.
“We all want better,” defenseman Travis Hamonic said. “I’m tired of going home and watching the playoffs on TV, man. I’m just real sick of it. I think everybody in this organization, and I think we want to be back in the playoffs and pushing for a championship and it’s something that I honestly think we can do. I’ve believed it for a numerous amount of years and that’s part of the reason I signed my contract (a seven-year deal signed last season) for as long as I did. I think we can we win with this group.”
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Not only was it the first extended layoff he’d experienced during a five-year pro career, but it’s also the longest he’s ever gone between games since taking up the sport. Seven months is an agonizing absence for a rink rat. And with NHL training camps set to open this week, there might not be another player in the league more excited to get back to work than Tavares.
“Oh I’m ready,” he said.
There is certainly reason for optimism on Long Island, where the acquisition of goalies Jaroslav Halak and Chad Johnson should make an instant impact on a team that was dead last in save percentage last season. Adding forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin will provide some much-needed depth up front.
This could also be the year that Tavares challenges for the NHL’s scoring title.
A lot of signs have him trending in that direction. He is already among the league’s elite offensive players after producing the fifth-best points per game average over the last three seasons — trailing only Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Steven Stamkos and Claude Giroux. Tavares is the youngest member of that group and should just be entering his offensive prime with his 24th birthday coming on Saturday.
from Josh Kosman of the New York Post,
Minnesota Wild co-owner Phil Falcone might quit his hockey-crazed home state to make a play for the New York Islanders, The Post has learned.
The beleaguered hedge fund mogul and former Harvard hockey player has been mulling selling his minority ownership in the Wild with the goal of becoming an eventual owner of the Islanders, sources said.
If that happens, Falcone would invest in the Islanders alongside friend and fellow Harvard alum Jon Ledecky, who last month led an investor group that purchased a “substantial” minority stake in the NHL franchise, sources said.
“[Falcone] is thinking about it,” said a source familiar with the situation.
from Brett Crygalis of the New York Post,
“I think obviously goaltending was a big thing,” Tavares told The Post on Tuesday at an NHL event at a Newark High School, his team having signed starter Jaroslav Halak to a four-year, $18 million deal, and added established backup Chad Johnson on a two-year, $2.6 million deal.
“To have those two guys set and to know that our goaltending situation is settled there,” Tavares said, “it’s really the first time it’s been like that since I’ve been here.”
If that wasn’t enough to make Tavares happy, general manager Garth Snow also added some talent up front to skate alongside him, inking the former dynamic duo from the Maple Leafs in Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin, both to four-year deals worth a combined $36.75 million.
“They obviously played really well together,” Tavares said, noting that in the 2010-11 season, while playing on the same line in Toronto, they scored 29 and 30 goals, respectively. “They know each other well, and they have good chemistry.”
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.
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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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