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Report: Islanders increasingly likely to leave Long Island in future

Mar 22, 2012, 8:09 PM EDT

New York Islanders Management Wait for New Arena Voter Referendum Results Getty Images

The Phoenix Coyotes perpetually dominate relocation rumors, but don’t sleep on the New York Islanders, either.

CBS’ Brian Stubits passes along word from B.D. Gallof that the Islanders’ chances of sticking around the Long Island area after their lease expires keep dwindling.

In other words, barring a miracle, Nassau is done as an Islanders option come 2015. That wreckage and loss, when the Isles cease to be a county taxpayer, will be left piled on many a politician’s feet that no amount of partisan rhetoric will be able to quell. In fact, despite that lark of a referendum, there were severe questions asked of the public vote and the viability of Nassau County to offer anything even before it was held.

Sharing the New Jersey-turned-Brooklyn Nets’ venue seems like a logical move – it saves the moving trucks some gas, makes it possible for locals to still follow the team to an extent – but it would be far from the only option for the franchise if Nassau County loses the team as the signs seem to point to.

A lot can change by 2015, but most reports indicate that the Islanders’ time in Long Island is drawing close to an end.

  1. micbg77 - Mar 22, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Quebec here they come

    • bcisleman - Mar 22, 2012 at 8:49 PM

      They will NOT be leaving the NY area. Both Barclay’s owner & political and business leaders in Queens have a strong interest in relocating the Isles to those locations.

      Moreover both the NHL and the Devils and Rangers would resist such a move and Charles Wang has said that he does not intend to seel the team or move it out of NY. Not happening.

      • eastcoastcynic - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM

        Then somebody in NY better show Wang the money so to speak, show him an arena with a deal that offers long term profitability. All we’re hearing instead is the “they can’t leave NY” hubris. That doesn’t pay players; that doesn’t build a new ice palace; that doesn’t make him money.

      • bcisleman - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:31 AM

        Not just hubris. He has said he’s committed to staying in NY, in part because he has a very lucrative Cablevison deal that other places cpouldnt match and in part because his business interests are here.

        Also, as I have said, the NHL, the Rangers and the Devils would all oppose a move out of NY.

      • bcisleman - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:33 AM

        As far as additional money, that will come as the team improves. Had a bunch of sellouts toward the end of this season. As team improves, there will be more. Never had a problem selling out in the 70s and 80s.

      • micbg77 - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:58 PM

        I know, I was pretty much joking

  2. giantssb42champs - Mar 22, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    What is Quebeck

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:15 PM

      More accurately, the question ought to be “What is a Quebeck?”

  3. challer9 - Mar 22, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    I just don’t see a negative in moving to Brooklyn. So what the arena holds a couple thousand less, better chance of selling it out on a nightly basis. Plus, you keep all your old fans plus spark the interest of new people who have a hockey team in their back yard.

    • bcisleman - Mar 22, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      Could be a temporary home while Isles try to set up a more likely arena possibly alongside CitiField.

  4. martysbetter - Mar 22, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Hartford? Yes, please.

    • craigkeller - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM

      They could keep their MSG contract intact, and they already have their minor team in Bridgeport. I like this idea A LOT.

      • bcisleman - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        Hartford is going to support the team better than Brooklyn or Queens? Better take another look at a demographic map. In any event, Wang won’t sell the team or move it out of NY.

    • martysbetter - Mar 25, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      You’re neglecting the fact that Hartford has many affluent communities in the surrounding areas, West Hartford, Farmington, Avon, Simsbury, etc.

      Not to mention some of the more impressive private school hockey programs in the country are located in this area (Avon Old Farms, Hotchkiss, etc.)

      • bcisleman - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM

        You are neglecting the fact that Nassau, Suffolk and Queens have a combined population more than 4X that of Metro Hartford. Hartford wasn’t able to support a major sports team then and it wouldn’t be able to now. It’s irrelevant anyway, because the Islanders arent leaving NY.

  5. nyrangersfan - Mar 22, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    I don’t think Brooklyn would be a good relocation area as there’s probably not a lot of hockey fanatics in Brooklyn. What I was told may be wrong but I’ve heard the owner of the isles is a billion air but refuses to put any money into renovating or building a new colliseum for the isles.

    • bcisleman - Mar 22, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      I’m sure there are hockey fans in Brooklyn & Barclay’s will be connected by LIRR & subway to LI & other parts of NYC. Also quite possible that Brooklyn might be a temporary home while a new arena is built alongside CitiField.

    • bcisleman - Mar 22, 2012 at 9:59 PM

      As to Wang, he first wanted to create a big real estate development around NVMC to pay for a new arena but Town of Hempstead refused to allow zoning. He then tried to work out a deal where casino revenue would pay for new arena, but Nassau voters rejected that last year. He has tried.

  6. lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 22, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Bummer. Hopefully they stay in NY. As an ex-Pegger, I feel for the Quebec fans who’d like a team again but this is the Islanders, not the Coyotes or Panthers.

    • bcisleman - Mar 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      Barclays arena owner has already said he’s welcome an #Isles move there as have leaders in Queens. The shame of it is that Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is and will surely remain the last place on earth where a professional sports team won four straight championships in ANY sport and it will likely be no more because of the stupidity and self interest of Nassau and Town of Hempstead pols and Wang business rivals.

      • eastcoastcynic - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:17 AM

        If Barclays puts their money where their mouth is and buys the team from Wang then sure, they belong in Brooklyn. But I can’t see an owner like Wang coming in with that limited profit potential in that arena unless they offer him more as far as ownership in the Nets or some of the real estate surrounding the arena.

      • bcisleman - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:28 AM

        Wang is committed to keeping the team in NY and if moving them to Barclay’s is what it takes to do that, that’s what he’ll do. As i have said elsewhere, it could be an interim move setting them up for Queens.

  7. biffnasty - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    The isles just suck as a hockey team….they don’t belong in NY. How’s that monster contract DiePeitro signed workin out??? Idiots

    • bcisleman - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:26 AM

      You are pretty clueless about the Islanders. The Isles DO belong in NY and will stay there. As to DiPietro, he will not be long for the Islanders and I’m sure your team never made any mistakes with its contracts.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

        Well, he’s right about DiPietro. That was the worst contract ever signed the moment it was signed. And the Isles have DiPietro for three more years–how’s that “not long”.

      • bcisleman - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:46 AM

        As I say every team has its monster contract mistake. If RDP was to play out the length of his contract, he’d here through 2021. The handwriting is on the wall, however and if the new CBA allows teams to dump a contract as rumored, RDP’s will go. If not, he’ll be bought out or Reddened.

  8. jaypot23 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    That brilliant comment comes from someone who dubbed himself “biffnasty”.

  9. ll8078 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Has anyone past say Flushing ever liked the Islanders? It’s not a large fan-base. I just don’t see it staying. It’s one thing to move them to Brooklyn but it’s another thing to take over the Rangers/Devils fan base in that area. Anywhere north wouldn’t work because that quickly becomes Bruins territory too.

    • bcisleman - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:13 AM

      The team is staying in NY. The Isles had a huge fanbase before a bunch of criminals ran the team into the ground. Its a lot harder to keep a fanbase when the best players are being traded off and the team either fails to make the playoffs or is knocked out in the first round as has been the case every season since 1993.

      Garth Snow is changing that picture. He has built from nothing one of the best prospect systems in the NHL. He doesnt trade off useful players, he locks them up with deals reasonable enough that he will be able to keep his core together and not have to trade away many of them as happened in Chicago.

      Snow’s rebuilding efforts are already paying off as recent games have been sold out. As the team improves, the fanbase will grow. By the time the lease runs out in 2015, the Isles will be an establised Cup contender…and the fans will return in droves.

  10. Miller - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    If you tell the Brooklynites hockey is ironic, alternative and socially “uncool” they will sell out everynight.

  11. east96st - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Man, do I have mixed feeling on this one. I grew up with the Islanders of the 70s and the early 80s. Nosebleed seats were cheap, they sold “buckets of beer” (picture a huge popcorn tub filled with tap beer) for $5, and the team build a dynasty right in front of our eyes. The fights in the nosebleeds were better than ones on the ice, and those were pretty good too, and, for a short time, we held the Guinness Book of Records mark for most beer consumed at a sporting event. 18 was the drinking age, but no one proofed you if you had facial hair – I had a mustache from 15 on – and no one had heard of DWI laws. Yeah, it was reckless, irresponsible, and out of control, but it was great times and great hockey. LOTS of history in that building. The flipside is that it’s always been a dump – even when it was brand new. Shame Nassau won’t build a proper building, but the Long Island mentality is why I ran to NYC as soon as I could. Richest county in America for awhile and the Republicans robbed it blind. That’s not a partisan rant, it’s just the Republicans controlled Nassau from the 40s on. You can’t have one party rule for decades without the system becoming hopeless corrupt. You would never believe it now, but Long Island was practically a paradise way back when. Surf casting for stripers off Jones Beach, farmland for fresh food, clamboats filling the Great South Bay – they stripped it all clean. The Isles, and Long Island, had their moment in the sun and instead of planning for tomorrow, both entities went for the quick buck and have never been the same since. If Nassau had put on five dollar tax on every home, apartment, and/or condo built from the day the Isles hoisted their last Stanley Cup, they would have built a hockey palace on Long Island in ten years time. Of course, some politician would have stole the money by year six, but in theory, it could have worked.

    • bcisleman - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      Actually Nassau has alternated between Republican and Democratic control. The Town of Hempstead, however, has been a Republican stronghold since the Grand Old Party was founded in 1854. Charles Wang offered to build a new arena or renovate the existing structure from proceeds of a real estate development, but Kate Murray, ToH Supervisor wanted to make sure her cronies controlled development and refused to allow the permits.

      I’ve never thought NVMC was a bad place and would have favored a throrough renovation. It has great sightlines and preserving the sight of such an icon of sports history would have justified passing on the logistical advantages relocation to transportation hubs like Barclay’s and the old Shea site would offer.

      • east96st - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        “Actually Nassau has alternated between Republican and Democratic control.”

        Not back then, my friend. You couldn’t even become a Nassau County cop without being a registered Republican. From 1970 until 2001 the three Nassau County Executives – which was where the real power was – were all Republicans. Again, it’s not a partisan thing. I’m sure the Dems would have been just as corrupt if they held power during that time. I suspect I’m at least a decade older than you – if not more, so you grew up in a very different Long Island than I did. When I was kid, Nassau was the most segregated county in the entire Country. Look into the history of Long Island in the 70s & 80s. I think you’ll be surprised by how much they f**ked it up.

      • bcisleman - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        There have been 8 Executives and 2 have been Dems. Not as diverse as I’d like, but better than ToH. If you are a decade older than me, you are collecting social security!

  12. newyorkislanderfancentral - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Really shows how bankrupt many of these sites are to allow the sourced based rantings of B.D Gallof aka the NHL Masked Avenger as some kind of report.

    Why don’t some of you Google that term and see what Gallof’s past represents.

    This was someone banned from hockeybuzz, who was kicked out of the Isles blog box, who Botta kicked out as his ghost writer. (as Botta never commented on another one of his major gaffe’s)

    You would get more credible information from sources inside a fortune cookie than Galoff and that’s the kindest version.

    This site must be broke and desperate for anything to fill space for free.

    • bdgallof - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:32 PM

      Once again, wrought with inaccuracy, which is your style…almost like Hitler screaming from a bar in Munich.

      Hockeybuzz: I left on my volition to a mistake I owned up to. Unlike you, I face mistakes, overcome, and clearly thats something that rubs you the wrong way. Made me

      Was suspended from Blog Box and returned. Then, once Kimber took over and LHP items hit wire, was not asked back. We know why, but I am sure you would like to connect it that I am a bad guy… not that I actually reported accurately what was going on with the ToH, Nassau and the Isles.

      Never ghostwrote for Botta… Was asked to be his initial writer over when he had choices of just about anyone, including those in the media. So guess that must bother you as well. How you sit in Moms basement and people just pass you by. How nobody is recognizing your genius to churn out comments on others hard work.

      But its ok… my conscious is clear. I sleep well at night. I do it without being eaten with jealousy or just plain insanity to stalk peoples work without ever looking objectively myself and my own behavior. Et tu? No, didn’t think so.

      • newyorkislanderfancentral - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM

        I wrote you were a bad guy? Afraid not.

        Kind of sad you need a reference to a mass murderer but this is your level of sources-based speculation on our team and why people should not give you any forum even those broke that need writers.

        As for the rest it’s too embarrassing to lower myself to your level.

        I leave you to your own comments about yourself for others to see, they don’t need me.

  13. newyorkislanderfancentral - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    You want facts from the people involved (not sourced based rantings from a clown like Gallof who’s less professional than message board posters?) here’s what’s happening.

    There is good news and bad news, it’s all available for you to research yourselves so you are not mislead by anyone and need no sources and gossip or clowns like Galloff.

    Every word is from the people involved and directly quotes. I’ll be glad to share the article links if allowed here.

    We all know Wang said he’s honoring his lease….but.

    Smg as of two weeks ago is bringing in a new general manager from Oklahoma to run the Nassau Coliseum to book events which could mean Wang-Rechler want out of the sublease agreement from December 2009 where the Isles handle the booking, get all event revenue but pay 17m for that role through 2015.

    That’s kind of a curious move being the the Isles are doing the event booking per the sublease and one that bears attention, or it could mean nothing.

    If Wang/Rechler opt out of the sublease the Isles can move immediately, but they would have to pay Smg the full fare of their lease through 2015 and Mangano/Nassau would have to approve the team leaving or they must stay.

    For those who don’t know Wang bought the management rights to Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport last summer, he got a naming rights deal and is running that arena where the Sound Tigers play.

    Charles Wang’s President in Bridgeport, Howard Saffan did a recent interview where he said the building is getting more events and is profitable. He also said he used to manage the Coliseum’s events for Wang. Saffan last summer after the referendum defeat made clear the Sound Tigers have a standing lease until 2021 and have no intention of leaving regardless how things play out with the Coliseum.

    Charles Wang owns the Marriott Hotel permanently and the abatement between the hotel and the Coliseum, he spent 90m dollars for it and bought out Rechler. If he sells the team he’s stuck with a hotel regardless so forget Brooklyn or Queens because he cannot load his hotel on a flatbed and take it with him or bankrupt something he bought in full a few years ago.

    The Isles cable contract until 2030 pays hundreds of millions. Unless Dolan gives him huge money and buys the hotel so he can put the Cablevision Whale at the Coliseum in 2016 (possible) Wang’s not walking away from his cable money.

    On 2/14/12 Isles senior VP, Michael Picker (Wang’s rep) spoke before the legislature and said nothing’s changed from last summer in terms of this team looking elsewhere and Nassau is their first choice.

    Anyone who followed last summer knows what Wang will sign a lease extension for:
    1-Wang does not build a new Coliseum/Nassau does.
    2-Wang pays Nassau 14m in rent/11 percent of all Coliseum event revenue.
    3-Wang has no development rights on the rest of the property.
    4-Wang/Isles replaces Smg as landlord.

    If Nassau finds a way to replace the building Wang will sign on for that. Picker said no regarding a renovation but in Wang-Rechler Lighthouse project, they were willing to accept renovation so that could be negotiable.

    There is no more Scott Rechler who was the billionaire developer behind the Lighthouse. Wang by himself has never developed a single thing and reportedly has less than a billion dollars in assets.

    Bruce Ratner reportedly has even less money so he’s not buying the Isles with his reported 400m dolllar worth.

    • eastcoastcynic - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      But Nassau doesn’t have any plan of their own to replace the building. The Lighthouse project which would have enable Wang to pay for a renovation or a new building was shot down by Hempstead. The referendum was the last shot for Nassau. I can’t forsee Wang signing on to playing in an outdated building.

      If he’s supposedly hurting a bit for cash, Wang may hang on till the end of the lease when he can get maximum value for his team then sell to outside interests–Quebec or Seattle.

      • newyorkislanderfancentral - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        The last shot is when Nassau says it has sold the property the Coliseum sits on and it must be demolished for the new owner of the property, who still has Murray’s limited zoning and Wang’s hotel and abatement to deal with.

        Mangano’s pathetic referendum was about covering himself and getting
        $ 58.00 dollars a year for 30 years in the Country’s general fund, it was no favor to tenant Charles Wang at all and no rejection of the hockey team.

        Can you imagine if NYC decided on referendum’s on whether to give the Yankees, Mets taxpayer billions before Bloomberg gave them the taxpayers cash in the backroom or on the Dolan’s 11m tax exemption since 1981 or what Cory Booker gave the Devils in Newark who are going bankrupt already?

        They all would have been overwhelmingly rejected as Bloomberg closed firehouses.

        Nothing changes the fact Wang permanently owns that hotel and the Coliseum events mean people stay at his hotel including visiting hockey teams.

        With Smg out after 2015 Wang can become the landlord, with the cba ending he may well get revenue sharing. (which Ted Leonsis receives in Washington to front-load Ovechkin)

        The Lighthouse was billionaire Scott Rechler’s development, with Charles Wang, who did all the talking. Rechler was the money behind that with the development record and all that was going to happen was a renovation with Rechler’s plan.

        So if the Nassau Coliseum built in 1972 is outdated what does that make the 1968 Cablevison Garden, the Montreal Forum, Maple Leaf Gardens, The Buffalo Aud, Chicago Stadium, Boston Garden and many other facilities that were open for generations and complete dumps compared to the Coliseum at this age?

        Wang gets a renovation you can bet he signs a new lease. At age 67 that lease will someday be the next owners problem sooner than later.

        Mangano’s just got to find a surcharge or tax to pay for it.

    • bdgallof - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      I love that you have to comment here because you basically got banned everywhere else. you have no clue what you are talking about. You are like the Rainman of Islanders fans…spewing out bits of info with zero ability of any objectivity… all skewed by being a biased fan.

      • newyorkislanderfancentral - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        Being banned by everyone would be your thing Mr NHL Masked Avenger.

        You can run from it, blame everyone who makes sure people know about it but you can’t hide from it or the fact that you can never be trusted as you diluted yourself and those desperate for free writers that you are some kind of resource.

        These sites are all broke. Enter the bottom of the barrel which would be you desperate to sell yourself at any cost and write anything.

        Unlike you, I’m not for sale which means I can write honestly and objectively about the team and its coverage because I don’t want anything from anyone.

        Never have, never will.

        Some folks still actually like the New York Islanders enough that they be treated fairly whether it be positive or negative.

        That’s not bias, that’s getting it right which is what everyone should aspire to above all.

  14. bdgallof - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    your everflowing well of self-righteousness is only matched by errant leaps of logic, judgments and complete naive ignorance.

    your view of fair is most interesting, oh bastion of censorship. after all, you are the person who decided as your last act on HFboards to censor what messageboarders were saying about Yashin. Fair to team indeed.

    You’d make Goebbels blush.

    But keep on trucking. Not sure what it is getting you, but the fact that it irks you to stalk from site to sites is entertaining and terribly sad in the same moment. You wouldn’t know what fair is. All you know is how to blast hot air and say its temperate all for the team and fan. What a martyr you are.

    The most amazing thing of all of this is that how you fashion your house of card reality of how things must be, yet accuse everyone of the same. The hypocrisy, never-ending contradictions, and complete inability for own accountability for your own abhorrent disruptive behavior that has been going on for years.

    Rationalize more. Seems what you do best. Seems to keep you going.

    • dougsautersmustache - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      What’s with you and the Nazi analogies?

  15. pantherpro - Mar 28, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    F you East coast losers! Bring them west to Seattle! Seattle Pilots!

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