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Charles Wang is being sued for $10 million for not selling Islanders

Aug 11, 2014, 4:48 PM EDT

Charles Wang AP

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang is finding out the hard way that trying to sell the team is a big headache.

According to Barbara Ross of the New York Daily News, Andrew Barroway has filed suit against Wang for $10 million for backing out of an agreement to sell the team to him for $420 million.

According to court documents, Barroway alleges the two sides had a “handshake” agreement to purchase the team at that price, but Wang pulled the offer off the table only to return months later asking for $548 million for the team, to which Barroway refused to pay. Wang then told him he sold the team to another party on Aug. 1.

Wait, what?

The source of Wang’s angst and change of mind on the price? The Los Angeles Clippers. From the Daily News:

“Wang was having seller’s remorse,” the court papers say, “because he believed he had agreed to sell the Islanders for a price too low after hearing the unrelated news that a $2 billion bid was place to purchase” the Clippers.

As far as the Islanders being sold, that would be news to everyone because no announcement of a sale has been made and once Barroway and Wang stopped discussing a deal, it was assumed Wang was back to square one.

It seems that even when things are going well over the summer for the Islanders, there’s always something new to pop up and become a distraction. This time it may prove to be a costly one for the owner.

  1. stevepopo - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    After watching the 30 for 30 on the Islanders this month, I actually feel sorry for fans of this team. They’ve won those cups but paid for it ever since.

    As a Sabres fan, I really hope you bottom out this year.

    As a hockey fan, I really hope you get a new owner that cares (and fired Garth on Day 1). In the 30 for 30, moving to Brooklyn seems like the latest of many knives to the heart.

    PS Here’s to Trottier adding another ring in the future to his massive stash.

  2. stevepopo - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    *fires #autocorrect #typo

    • esracerx46 - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      This isn’t twitter. Hash tags make us all just a little dumber

  3. govtminion - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    Well hell, in that case I had a handshake agreement about it too! I want ten million! And my claim is no easier to prove in court than this guy’s is- a handshake is worth exactly nothing, legally.

    So either this guy is about to waste a judge’s time, or I’m going to be RICH.

    • stakex - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      This is right here is what’s wrong with the internet. So many people state things with such certainty, when they have no idea what the hell they are talking about.

      Handshake agreements, when executed properly, are just as legally binding as written ones in most places of the country, and that’s especially true in New York. If you don’t believe me, look up Texaco vs. Pennzoil.

      • elrock7 - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:47 PM

        He should be sued another 10 mil for buying them in the first place, and another 10 mil for looking like, and being such a shyster.

      • mogogo1 - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        Texaco and Pennzoil was a pretty unusual case, however. One key piece was that the sale had been announced publicly by the parties which I don’t believe ever happened with the Islanders’ sale.

  4. devilsmetsgiants - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    By handshake deal, he likely means an oral agreement, which can certainly be legally binding.

    • scoochpooch - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      absolutely, but don’t expect the numnuts on this site to know that.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      No they aren’t, read up on the statute of frauds.

      • skr213 - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        Statute of frauds is only relevant to certain types of agreements, and the sale of a hockey team would actually not qualify under most circumstances (depending on how the deal was structured). Nice try at the armchair lawyering though.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        The sale of a team would absolutely qualify under the statute of frauds. No court would ever hold up a verbal sale of $250 million.

      • skr213 - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        I agree that this suit isn’t going anywhere, but this isn’t a statue of frauds issue, per se. I’ll tell you what – I won’t come on here talking about how to make good french fries and you stay away from the legal analysis. Deal?

      • skr213 - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:24 PM

        Again, and as reported elsewhere, there actually was a signed LOI in place.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:04 AM

        A letter of intent isn’t binding but good try

    • sumkat - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:56 AM

      No, they can’t. When you have a team of lawyers negotiating from each side, you can’t pretend that all of a sudden you were going to do the deal on somebody’s word.

      When you have a team negotiating, you know it’s not a deal until it’s a deal. This isn’t someone borrowing $100 and arguing over if it was a gift or a loan. It was the transfer of a huge multi million dollar corporation. The standards are not the same in any way, shape or form

  5. jernster21 - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    Further proof that Wang is an idiot. Doesn’t even know how to properly value the team he’s trying to sell.

  6. patthehockeyfan - Aug 11, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    The team was valued at $195 million. Barroway offers him $420 million, and suddenly, Wang goes all Donald Sterling.

    Wang not only deserves to lose the $10 million he’s being sued for; but, I think he should also be in line for some sort of psychiatric evaluation. Clearly, he’s delusional. Not unlike Sterling.

  7. eugenesaxe1 - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    When I think hockey, I think “Wang”.

  8. canadiansportsfan77 - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Haha this just sounds about as correct as can be when it deals with Wang

  9. hockeyflow33 - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    This suit will immediately get tossed. Even if you agree to sell a team via handshake, it’s not done until it’s signed on paper.

    • avscup - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      Not likely to get tossed. There is a 70 page agreement and a $10M breakup fee agreed to by each side in the contract.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        I saw that when I read a different article. Not the first time I’ve been wrong haha.

  10. 19to77 - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    It’s kind of a shame that Wang doesn’t also own the Coyotes. I mean, it’s good for hockey that he owns as few teams as possible and just generally endeavours to go the hell away, but think of the headline material! The journalists would never have to work again. The articles would be writing themselves!

  11. ducksk - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    If loving Wong is right, I don’t want to wrong.

    • anthj99 - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      That was pathetic.

  12. c1md6 - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Hey Wang stop taking pictures, it’s a parking lot

    • avscup - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Hey Wang…don’t tell them you’re Jewish!

  13. nightfireop - Aug 11, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    guys, ur messing with the wrong wang!

  14. 950003cups - Aug 11, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    Barroway should cut off his Wang for turning down the deal.

  15. pone27 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    As stated above, and with the many thumbs down, unless you sign the papers, this is not a legal binding agreement.

    If I bet you my car, shake on it, lose the bet, and then not give you my car, I am still not obliged to give you my car. Plain and simple. It is not a contractual agreement.

    If you get offered a job, shake on it, but don’t sign the contract….. You do not have a job.

    We can go on all day/night about it. Point is, there is no legal binding contract signed, and therefore there is no deal.

    I hate hockey summer off-season (no offense to the writers)

    • skr213 - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      A bet is not an oral contract because there was no “consideration” in the deal. Why do so many people comment on something they know virtually nothing about? You think 3 years in law school is stuff you can just pick up on a couple episodes of CSI?

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        I went to law school and you’d be better served watching Law and Order…way cheaper too

      • avscup - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        3 years in law school and they never mentioned written contracts to purchase $420M dollar sports teams? Perhaps you should ask for your money back.

    • avscup - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      You obviously are playing lawyer without the facts. Relying on what is reported as a handshake by the media as fact is folly.

      There is a 70p agreement in place. The handshake simply started the process whereby each sides team of people started work on the agreement.

  16. jlilly67 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    Wang screws fans again

  17. stinkpretty1 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    Wang has always been a disgrace. His GM’s have been the whipping boys. I forever gave Snow, Milbury crap, but it was Wangs ”committee” decisions have ruined this organization.

  18. sumkat - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    you know what they call a handshake agreement in court?

    Nothing, the same thing it means

    If you didn’t sign papers, the deal wasn’t done. I don’t know this Barroway guy, but if he has enough money to buy an NHL team, I’d think he has the business sense of a 8th grader. If he thinks he’s going to get $10 mil because the guy changed his mind……this is why we need tort reform in this country, the person who brings a ridiculous law suit like this should be on the hook for the cost, not the rest of us

  19. jacketsfan7 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Haha wang

  20. bmy0913 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    http://nylawblog.com/2009/03/is-a-handshake-agreement-enough-to-protect-you/

    Just saying, guys. This will be dismissed as frivolous before it ever enters litigation. The financial implications and the sheer complexity of a deal like this is not going to be legally justified on a handshake agreement. No paperwork, no deal.

  21. dp2310 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/islanders-owner-charles-wang-hit-10-million-lawsuit-article-1.1899742

    There was a purchase agreement that was negotiated and agreed upon. This isn’t getting thrown out of the courts any time soon boys

  22. jhmiddleton81 - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Man what a damn fool, he’s making a heavy profit anyway off of the islanders, but he has zero leverage because there is only one buyer! I mean I wholeheartedly believe that every NHL team is worth a minimum of $500 Million but to raise the asking price an extra $140 Million is a joke, just sell the team to a guy who will put money in the team for once

    • sumkat - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      if you think that every team is worth a minimum of $500 million, and he’s only willing to pay $400 million for the team, what makes you so sure he would be willing to put money in the team?

      Seems like the exact opposite to me

  23. thegonz13 - Aug 12, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Wang should be sued for putting a subpar team on the ice.

  24. islesjb - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Can’t believe Wang pulled out

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