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Gary Bettman: “Still time” to keep Islanders in Long Island

May 30, 2012, 10:10 PM EDT

Charles Wang Getty Images

The New York Islanders aren’t going anywhere until their lease runs out, but the general feeling is that their days in Long Island are numbered. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t provide many concrete details, yet he backed up Isles owner Charles Wang’s (pictured) efforts to keep the team in the area, as Arthur Staple reports.

“Charles Wang is continuing, despite tremendous frustration, to look at all options to keep the club in the metropolitan area,” Bettman said. “There’s still time [to find a deal].”

Staple points to a date that might just be ominous, though. The Islanders are scheduled to play a preseason game in Brookyln, the new home of the (formerly New Jersey) on Oct. 2 – assuming that the impending CBA talks won’t eliminate such exhibitions.

The Islanders aren’t the only team in their general area to face some struggles as Bettman was also answering questions about the Devils’ financial state during his pre-Stanley Cup finals press conference.

Both situations might take some time to resolve, but Bettman’s technically right; the Isles do have time to look for solutions. Their lease runs out in 2014, so theoretically, the window hasn’t closed – on Long Island or any market hoping to nab a team that is quietly assembling solid young talent.

  1. bcisleman - May 30, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    The lease runs out in 2015. I am not sure if that is January 1st, 2015, December 31st or some point in between.

    Sources I trust suggest that Wang and the Islanders no longer trust either the Town of Hempstead or Nassau County. If the politicians and local developers come up with a reasonable plan, I am sure they will listen. My guess, however, is that the Isles will begin seriously pursuing a deal in Brooklyn or Queens in the coming year and announce something next summer.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 31, 2012 at 1:59 AM

      Or Quebec, Kansas City, Seattle, Hamilton, Las Vegas, Houston, Orlando, Portland, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Halifax, or Atlanta. Doh-Kay just seeing if you paying attention on the last one.

  2. RoseTintedVisor - May 31, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    The Isles really do have too much history for the NHL to allow them to move. More Stanley Cups than 2/3 of the league.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 31, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      Yeah kind of like a team that the Islanders beat in the Cup Finals in their hay day. Just like a team that lost the Cup Finals twice, had a player who has a trophy named after him. Yeah history sure saved the Minnesota North Stars fr going to Dallas

      • jkeitz - May 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        You’re not seriously comparing a team that won the Cup four years in a row, a team that won 19 playoff series in a row, to a team that made it to the Final ONCE (only to then be swept by those same Islanders)?!?

      • jkeitz - May 31, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        Sorry, meant TWICE, forgot about the series with the Pens in 91. Still, no serious comparison to the Isles.

      • RoseTintedVisor - May 31, 2012 at 6:29 PM

        Look, I liked the Northstars, but comparing their history to the Isles is insane. 4 Cups. Nine HOFers.

  3. AlohaMrHand - May 31, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    hartford on line one

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