Kukla's Korner Hockey
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."
Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin have been reunited.
The New York Islanders have signed the two former Toronto Maple Leafs to four-year contracts.
TSN Hockey insider Pierre LeBrun reports Grabovski will receive $20 million over four years, while Kulemin's contract is worth $16.75 million.
Grabovski scored 13 goals and 22 assists in 58 games with the Washington Capitals in 2013-14. He was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs last off-season.
In 70 games with the Maple Leafs this season, Kulemin scored nine goals and added 11 assists.
from Brett Cyrgolis of the New York Post,
According to sources, the dominos began to fall when free-agent defenseman Dan Boyle shunned the Islanders’ two separate contract offers — one of two years at $5.5 million per season, the other of three years at $5 million per — to take a two-year deal with the Rangers at $4.5 million per.
Snow had traded a fifth-round pick to the Sharks in early June to obtain Boyle’s exclusive negotiating rights. When he was asked if there was regret for making that move, Snow was forthright.
“Knowing now that I didn’t get him? Absolutely,” Snow told The Post. “But I also realize there was zero-percent change of us getting him if we waited to July 1. It was a fifth-round pick that was worth a try.”
According to a league source, the Islanders also sent an offer to Thomas Vanek in the range of four years at $7 million per, which surpassed his three-year, $19.5 million deal he signed with the Wild.
from Daniel Friedman of CBSNewYork,
Are the Islanders doomed to continue living a mediocre existence or will they finally morph into the competitive team that ownership and management have promised is on its way for years and years? Can they finally take that next step and shake their losing perception?
The time to be patient and fix this team through the draft is over. The young core, including those not on the roster yet, is what it is now, and it’s either going to work or it’s not.
The time for refusing to part with any young talent has run out, because by now the Islanders should be able to identify most of their expendable pieces. If they still can’t, that’s another issue altogether.
The time for making excuses has passed. How often has the rationale for failing to make trades to bolster the team been that the right deal just wasn’t out there? At a certain point, you just have to ask: why is the right deal never out there for Snow?
Put simply, the answer is that it’s because he’s a stubborn GM, which is part blessing and part curse.
I RT'd this earlier but I know many KK readers don't use Twitter at all or on a daily basis...
from Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Daily,
In the five weeks since The Shift reported that the sale of the New York Islanders to Andrew Barroway is in the hands of Charles Wang, the Islanders’ current owner, Wang has not moved to complete a deal. However, specifics of the potential agreement have been confirmed with sources close to the seller, the buyer and the NHL:
• Barroway is seeking to become the majority owner and purchase 80 percent of the team. “He wants decision-making authority and the ability to bring in his own people,” said a source.
• The agreed-upon value of the club is around $400 million.
• Wang’s advisers told Barroway’s group more than a month ago that Wang would like to complete a deal with Barroway this summer.
more on the Islanders and other hockey topics...
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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