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Report: Wang in talks to sell Isles majority stake

Mar 28, 2014, 2:07 AM EDT

Big news on the future of the New York Islanders, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie:

Wang, 69, became part-owner of the Isles in 2000, then assumed majority control in 2004 after buying out partner Sanjay Kumar.  The team has struggled both on the ice and financially since Wang’s been aboard, making the playoffs just two times while reportedly losing an estimated $10 million per season.

The Islanders are slated to move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center beginning in the 2015-16 campaign, which would end their occupancy on Long Island, a place Wang has a long history with. He spearheaded the now-defunct Lighthouse Project — a proposal to transform the Nassau Coliseum and surrounding area into a modern suburban locale — which was voted down in 2011, two years after Wang said he regretted buying the Isles in the first place.

“If I had the chance I wouldn’t do it again,” Wang told Newsday at the time. “Never in my life, would I have anticipated this thing [Lighthouse Project] could be dragged out for seven, eight years.”

The timing of these proposed sale talks are interesting, as Wang and the Islanders are reportedly due to make a $75 million loan repayment at the end of this season.

It’s also worth noting this isn’t the first time claims have surfaced suggesting Wang was looking to sell the team. In 2012, the New York Post reported the Isles were available to be purchased… for an estimated $300 million.

  1. AppealToReason - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:15 AM

    I’m curious how this affects the lease and the moving arrangement.

    • killerpgh - Mar 28, 2014 at 7:32 AM

      I’m assuming it will not impact anything as far as the team moving to the Barclay Center as it was reported as an “iron clad” lease. But for the right price I’m sure anything can happen.

      • imgoingtowichita - Mar 28, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        The earlier reports of the team being for sale stipulated the team remain on LI. With the lease at Barclay’s, Wang has ensured the franchise remains in New York and technically on the island. Now he is trying to recover some of his losses.
        For those that are Islander fans and taking shots at Wang — you would be cheering for Kansas City, Seattle, Quebec (take your pick) instead of the orange and blue had he not purchased and brought financial stability to a once proud franchise that had seen a decade + of dispair (on and off the ice).

  2. luz56 - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:00 AM

    John Spanos to the rescue

    • charlieconway96 - Mar 28, 2014 at 4:23 AM

      Damn, beat me to it…

    • jmonty1102 - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      uncle jesse?

  3. tuberippin - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:47 AM

    Let’s hope this happens. I’d love to see my Isles with a fighting chance again, and maybe that could happen if Wang wasn’t hiring a bunch of bumbling idiots to run the team.

  4. wranglerick - Mar 28, 2014 at 5:27 AM

    Good Morning

  5. murtdurt - Mar 28, 2014 at 5:39 AM

    As long as wang was in charge you never really had to worry about the islanders even with a healthy Tavares

    -signed, a metro fan

  6. mattymarts17 - Mar 28, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    As an Isles fan I am both elated and terrified. Can someone help me out here? Does this effect the move and is there a chance the team could be relocated??

    • islesjb - Mar 28, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      No dude that is not a concern at all- those days worrying about the team going to KC are behind us. The Barclays lease is “iron-glad” for 25 years and beyond that, you’ll be hard pressed to make a compelling argument that moving a sports franchise out of the biggest market in the world is a good idea.

      Isles are here to stay and this is phenomenal news for us.

  7. kaptaanamerica - Mar 28, 2014 at 6:10 AM

    Don’t worry, it’s been reported many times that the NHL will never move a team that’s won the the case of the Islanders, the history of the 80’s will ensure they never go anywhere.

  8. jkmhenry - Mar 28, 2014 at 6:24 AM

    Interesting news. Barclays deal definitely increases the value of the franchise. Understand it’s not the traditional home area, but last I checked Brooklyn is still on Long Island.

  9. chiadam - Mar 28, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    Does this mean no more 50-year contracts for goalies?

  10. buffalo65 - Mar 28, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    Unless it’s sold to a certain former backup goalie I think a GM maybe looking for work.

  11. RoseTintedVisor - Mar 28, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    thank you god. and baby god.

  12. tjvalley - Mar 28, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    I wish I had the money to buy them.

  13. jetfan74 - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Surely there has to be someone in the NYC area w/ that kind of spending money sitting around. I don’t believe a sale would have any negative effects on the move to the Barclays. The move in itself should help the team financially, it’s the man in the GM chair that concerns me the most.

  14. mshantz22 - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    Hopefully they complete a sale. Wang is honestly doing no good for the islanders. Maybe the new owner will fire snow!!

  15. hockey412 - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Hopefully the new owner will remove the internal cap. Could be an amazing team if they didn’t have to spend $10M lower than everyone else.

  16. powerpop18 - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Wang was truly the emperor without clothes. He should have sold the Islanders years ago instead of penny pinching and holding Snow back from offering decent contracts. New ownership + new management + new building = a better NY Islanders team. One that will not be stocked with minor leaguers or cast offs. Sayonara!

    • 11111111111a22 - Mar 28, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      Holding Snow back from offering contracts? Like the time he didn’t sign a mediocre goalie to a 70 year 12 trillion dollar contract?

      • islesjb - Mar 28, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        Ignorant comment that gets made all too often. Snow hasn’t been the GM of the decade but that contract was already in the making when Snow was hired. It was all Wang.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 28, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        Duuuude, your organization gave a goalie with a career .900 SV% a 15 year contract. Fif…..teeeeeeeeeeen.

      • islesjb - Mar 28, 2014 at 12:17 PM

        I’m not denying that or defending the contract- it was colossally stupid. I am just telling you that you’re incorrect in saying that it was Snow that have DP the contract. It was all Wang

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 28, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        It was all Wang.

        That’s what she said.

  17. buddysguys - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    1st smart thing this team has done since the 80’s

  18. jmonty1102 - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Don’t know his name, but I bet the Russian owner from the Brooklyn Nets buys them

  19. jetfan74 - Mar 28, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Prokorov? Nets and Isles in the same building and same ownership does sound nice. He’s not afraid to spend that’s for sure.

  20. titansbro - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    If I had $300M I’d but the Islanders.

  21. titansbro - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:41 PM


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