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Wang sells Isles to ex-Caps owner Ledecky

Aug 19, 2014, 1:35 PM EST

Huge news from Long Island on Tuesday — per Newsday, Islanders owner Charles Wang has agreed to sell the team to a familiar face in NHL circles:

Ledecky is best known as the former minority owner in Washington. In 2001, he sold his 24 percent share in the team to current owner Ted Leonsis which, according to the Washington Times, would allow Ledecky to pursue buying another sports franchise:

Leonsis and Ledecky did not disclose a price for the transaction, but Ledecky, a well-known District entrepreneur, said he made a “healthy, 10-figure profit” on the $58 million he invested in May 1999.

Ledecky is now free to pursue a pro sports team of his own, as has been his long-stated ambition. He unsuccessfully sought interests in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds before purchasing the Caps from [Abe] Pollin two years ago, and last fall he came close to buying the Montreal Canadiens.

As for Wang, this move would end his lengthy, contentious ownership of the Isles. Reports have been surfacing for months about his desire to sell the team, this after the failed Lighthouse Project and mounting financial losses. The 69-year-old 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.

As mentioned, Wang also 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.”

Should the sale to Ledecky and Malkin be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors, it’ll mark a change in ownership just one year before the Isles leave Long Island and relocate to Brooklyn, where they’ll play at the Barclays Center beginning in 2015-16.

UPDATE: The Isles have addressed and confirmed the transaction, courtesy this statement…

A group led by former Washington Capitals co-owner Jon Ledecky and London based investor Scott Malkin has reached a definitive agreement, subject to NHL approval, to purchase a substantial minority interest in the team. Under the terms of the agreement, Charles Wang will continue as majority shareholder and Governor of the Islanders, with the Ledecky/Malkin group transitioning to majority owner in two years.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to become partners in the New York Islanders with Charles, and to pursue our shared dream of winning a fifth Stanley Cup for the greatest fans in the NHL,” Mr. Ledecky said.

“I’m thrilled that Jon and Scott have agreed to join me as we start the Islanders’ final year at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum,” Mr. Wang said. “I look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

 

Related

Report: Wang ‘furious’ over report he’s exploring sale of Isles

Wang being sued for $10 million for not selling Islanders

  1. RoseTintedVisor - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    WE ARE FREE! MY OPPRESSED PEOPLE ARE FREE AND THERE WAS MUCH REJOICING. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    • bucrightoff - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      Took Wang long enough to pull out.

      • islesjb - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        kind of sucks that there are no good phallis jokes you can make out of the new owner’s names. LeDicky will have to do.

    • hockey412 - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Congrats on being Wang-less, New York.

  2. milkmemalkin - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Milk me scotty malkin

  3. twinwildflyer - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    So this guy has money unlike Spano, good to know.

  4. govtminion - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    With all due respect to Mr. Wang… this is long overdue.

    Hey, when you clean out your office, be sure to get extra boxes for Garth Snow’s office too. Just sayin’.

    (Man, new ownership, new arena, some great young talent including a healthy Tavares, decent goaltending at last… is this finally the Isles’ time to rise again?)

    • islesjb - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      I think Wang is still majority owner for the next 2 years and then Ledecky and Malkin take over; whatever the Isles have done in those two years will decide Garth and Capuano’s fate. I don’t see Wang making any major management moves right now.

      Any who, this is GREAT fkin news. Wang lost interest in creating a winning team a long time ago; time for some real owners

  5. cantescapekarma - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Well, I must say that I am very happy for you Isles fans, as I know how badly you guys wanted an ownership change. But, as a Buffalo fan, I am also very happy that these changes are not truly taking place for a couple of years as that means that Garth Snow will still be the GM for this upcoming season (we really want that high draft pick!).
    I hope that in a couple of years when these new owners take over, it turns into a situation similar to when Terry Pegula took over the Sabres and opened up his billion dollar check book to give Buffalo unlimited funds. As rough as last season was (for Buffalo), it is a very exciting time to be a Buffalo fan in my opinion. I hope the same happens for the NYI. With all the young talent coming up for both teams, it could be a very exciting rivalry to watch for years to come.

  6. sdelmonte - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Given everything else that has gone wrong with Wang’s tenure, I will believe this when I see it. The Barroway suit could be a problem. As could the fact that it will take two years for this to really happen.

    Here’s hoping for a sign of good faith. Like finally firing Garth Snow.

    • ibieiniid - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      the Barroway suit popped in my mind too, but not necessarily about it being a problem…. more of a joke.

      but how do you see that playing into Wang not ending up selling the team to THIS buyer? just curious.

      • patthehockeyfan - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        Jumping in here guys. Sorry.

        I thought about the Barroway suit. I’m not a lawyer (and don’t play one on TV); but I think, if the suit has enough merit to be considered, it’s possible that there could be an injunction issued prohibiting the sale until Barroway’s suit is judged.

        Again, not sure.

      • ibieiniid - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        i don’t know a whole lot about the suit and don’t claim to be a lawyer either, but from what I could tell, I thought he was only suing for cash, not for the actual rights to buy the team. maybe I overlooked that though.

      • patthehockeyfan - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        It isn’t necessarily that Barroway is suing for the rights to buy the team; but, if his suit is judged to have merit, wouldn’t that then give him, for lack of a better word, a potential lien against the team/Wang?

        What I’m saying is that the buyer would pretty much want to buy the team free and clear. With a lawsuit hanging over the team/Wang, that kind of muddies the water, doesn’t it?

        I don’t know for sure. I’m going back to my numbers.

      • sdelmonte - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:41 PM

        In theory, a Barroway suit could go far enough to demand he gets to be the buyer. Which could scare off the new buyers. Seems unlikely, but if Charles Wang is involved, anything can go wrong.

    • jl9830 - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Firing Garth Snow is precisely the wrong thing to do. He’s had one of the best offseasons of any GM in the league and the Isles actually look good for the first time in years. How’d it go in Buffalo when Terry Pegula walked in and just changed everything?

      That’s why I like Wang remaining majority owner for two years.

      • bullwinkle88 - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        The look good for the first time in years??? Well, I think they’ll finish higher than 5th this year, but they definitely won’t be in the playoffs.

        IOW, another lottery selection for Buffalo!

  7. jpelle82 - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    boom! the nhl just got better today…

  8. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    So someone can be an owner or co-owner of two NHL teams at the same time?

    • cantescapekarma - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      No they can not. But he has not had any ownership of the Caps for about 13 years now.
      You must have missed the headline of the article where it says EX caps owner and then the rest of the article as well, where it goes on to say that he sold his minority share in the Caps back in 2001… (Just busting your balls man lol)

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        I actually did read it all, just failed to follow the history, that I had not been familiar with.

        Thanks 4 taking the time to explain, rather than just thumbing down an “insufficiently researched question”.

      • cantescapekarma - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        endusersolutions2013 – no problem man. Just glad you took it the right way and did not get offended by my joking around. And don’t worry about the confusion it happens to us all…

  9. spizzjr - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    The WangBangSnowJob era is over my friends

  10. killerpgh - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Congrats to the Islanders fans. I’m jealous.

    Signed,
    A Pittsburgh Pirates fan.

    • bullwinkle88 - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Ditto.

      Signed,
      A Cleveland Browns fan.

  11. ketch20too - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As a fan since ’72 this is some of the best news I’ve had in years!!!!!

  12. ibieiniid - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    “Leonsis and Ledecky did not disclose a price for the transaction, but Ledecky, a well-known District entrepreneur, said he made a “healthy, 10-figure profit” on the $58 million he invested in May 1999.”

    gotta be a typo from the Washington Times, right? he made at least a billion dollars on the Capitals from 1999 to 2001 with a 24% stake? I don’t think so.

    • hockey412 - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      Maybe they included cents as digits! Rich people are sneaky like that.

  13. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    With the goaltending upgrade and a healthy Tavares, looks like they will be i a battle for a wild card (Likely Pens, Rangers and Flyers finish higher). So Caps, Islanders, Jackets – who gets it?

  14. 34defense2014 - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    jl9830: I agree with you 100%! Firing Snow would be the worst thing to do at this point. I’ve been on this soap box for awhile now! The truth is this: Had Wang not purchased the NY Islanders when he did, they would be in the State of KC for the last 14 years! Also, Garth has accumulated some of the best young talent in the NHL now! That said, I’m not saying there the best! But, it finally looks like we will be out of the NHL doldrums this year & for years to come! Did Garth mess up with the whole Vanek trade? I guess? But, knowing what we know now, and how much Moulson wanted lol was laughable! The contract he received is an absolute joke for a player of his caliber! With that said, “Mouly” as we Isles fans used to call him. Should give Garth a big ole’ present every Christmas! If Garth had not takin a flier on him and pitchforked him off the scrap heap! He would still be playing in the farm system! So all of my fellow Isles fan that continually bash Wang! You should be thanking the man for keeping the team on Long Island for as long as he did! He also wanted to pay for the entire Lighthouse Project completely with his own private funds years ago! Long before it went on a Ballot to get Voted on! Unfortunately the $&@”ing Politicians and Hofstra University did not want such a “large structure in Nassau County” if you remember correctly “Legislation” did not want to turn Nassau into NY City with all large buildings! What a joke! Now what they have across the street from Hofstra is a huge eye sore! But, hey that’s what we Voted on, so that’s what we get! Shame, a Professional Dynasty and that’s what they where a true DYNASTY back in the day! Turned into a glorified AHL team! Not anymore though! So when they start wining again and go far into the playoffs in the next 4 to 6 years! You should be thanking Wang and Garth! Wang loses over 10 Million a year on the Islanders! How long would you had remained the owner if you lost 10 Million a year? So,Thank you Mr. Wang for saving the NY Islanders!! #Islesfan4life

    • cantescapekarma - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      You guess he messed up the whole Vanek trade? You guess…? Lol. No guessing involved, he messed it up big time. First off, the Buffalo Sabres (Darcy to be specific) offered to make Vanek the highest paid forward in the entire NHL (even more money than the 7/$50mil that Garth eventually offered him). He refused the Sabres offer and openly said that he wanted to go somewhere that had a real chance at competing for a CUP now. So, if he wouldn’t sign in Buffalo for huge dollars, why in the world Garth thought that he would be able to get him signed on the Isles for less money than what Buffalo had already offered is beyond me. (Especially considering that Vanek’s family loved living in Buffalo, if he wouldn’t sign for huge money in Buffalo, why would he sign for less money to play for the NYI (where his family has no ties and the team is no closer to competing for a Cup than Buffalo is)).
      As far as Moulson – he wanted to be a NYI for life and yes he would have wanted more money than what he was making last season, but listening to him talk I got the impression that he would have been more than willing to work with Garth and take a “home town discount” to remain a NYI for life. Buffalo gave him a nice contract because they could afford it and because he will be a big part of the team for years to come, as well as a great mentor to the young kids. Every Buffalo player has raved about what a great guy he is and what a huge addition to the locker room he has been. But I can almost guarantee that if Garth would have never traded him, he would have signed in NY for less than what Buffalo gave him.

  15. El Pollo Loco - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    The chinaman is still in charge

  16. 34defense2014 - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Again, before all you fans of other teams get your panties in a twist. I said “some of the best” not the best! Through I do believe Tavares is the best Center in the Metropolitan Division. That includes Nash, don’t get me wrong Nash is a good player! But, he’s not a Tavares! The deference between Tavares and Nash is ( and there’s a lot ) but the one that really sticks out is Tavares makes the players around him better! ( look what he did for Moulson’s career ) Where as Nash does not! Put Nash on a team where he’s not “The Man” he’s a great player! Kind of like Gabby, look what he did on the Kings when he wasn’t ” The Man ” PS. Can someone please, please, pretty please take Grabner from us?! He sucks, we need to make room for some of these younger guys and dump Grabner!

    • killerpgh - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      Calling JT the best center in the Metro is a bold statement that I wouldn’t expect many to agree with considering Crosby, Malkin and Giroux are all in the Metro division. I would differently take Crosby/Malkin over JT and most likely Giroux as well. Nash is a winger who took 2 face offs all season last year so I’m not sure why you are considering him a center.

  17. ducksk - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    If loving Wong was wrong, I don’t want to be right. Glad he is out of NHL

  18. bcisleman - Aug 19, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    Not even going to bother to read all the Wang and Snow haters posts. Snow will surely stay for the remainder of Wang’s majority. Then it will likely depend on how the team has played in the interim as to whether he remains as GM. This team is ready to turn the corner in a big way….just feel it in my bones.

  19. 34defense2014 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    cantescapekarma: I’m guessing your a Moulson fan? Yeah, you’re right he would had takin a home town discount at like 1 Million less! No thanks! Don’t let the door hit ya in the way out! We’ll see how many goals he scores this year? Glad Buffalo is locked up with him for years! If Moulson was the, end all be all? How come we only made it to the playoffs once when he was on the team? Also let’s see if you can make me eat crow?!! Let’s see how many goals/points he gets not playing with Tavares? I’ll take the new players we have now over him any day! We needed players that can make plays, passing, digging in corners, back check and so on: not just just goal hanging. So yeah, I’m glad he’s not on the team! Now we just have to dump Grabner and make room for the younger, better players! Yeah, now that I think about it? It wasn’t a mistake at all!

  20. blomfeld - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    EVERYBODY HAVE FUN TONIGHT … EVERYBODY WANG CHUNG TONIGHT !!!

    No doubt the Islanders ‘happiest’ day ever since they got rid of Luongo eh ? :)

  21. 34defense2014 - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    I would differently take Crosby/Malkin over JT and most likely Giroux!…..,,,,,,,,,,,lol really Giroux lol my Son skates faster then him lol oh boy! The only guy I agree with you is Crosby and he’s getting up there in age he’s 28 as of August 7 as well! So not a bold statements by any means! It’s the simple truth! Tavares will be 24 in September lol he’s a 23 year old kid, think what he will be when he’s 28? It’ll be like Crosby who?

  22. 34defense2014 - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Also never in my post did I say Nash was a Center. I was simply comparing the deferences between 2 well, one elite player.

  23. 34defense2014 - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    If the Isles had a Netminder worth anything they should have beatin the all and might Penguins! Even with Nabby in net they still should have won. Look out NHL here comes the Isles! THEY’RE BACK!

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