Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/01/12 at 06:10 PM ET
from Stu Hackel of the Red Light,
So here we go again. Islanders owner Charles Wang, still unable to get any movement in Nassau County on a new arena, has decided to have his team host a preseason game in a large arena elsewhere, one that does not already house an NHL club. The obvious implication is that if he can’t get a deal to his liking on Long Island, he’s got options. Look out Long Island — Charles Wang is moving his team.
Well, he’s done this before with Kansas City. This time he’s doing it with Brooklyn. But, like the Kansas City ploy — where the game drew only 9,792 people, thus cooling any ardor Wang may have had for relocating there — this Brooklyn gambit is likely more of a charade than a bona fide threat.
It’s not because the Islanders-Devils game on Oct. 2 won’t draw well. It probably will. It’s just that the new Barclays Center, a state of the art arena designed for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets (who, quite ironically, enjoyed their greatest success as the ABA’s New York Nets while playing in Nassau Coliseum when it was new), is truly not a viable option for the Islanders.
Why not? For one thing, it moves the Isles into the territory of another team: the Rangers. All NHL franchises have defined territories that are exclusively theirs to exploit for business purposes. And while a certain overlap exists among the three New York City metropolitan area teams, Brooklyn is, as far as is known, still Rangers territory.
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