Many Questions Remain As Isles Take On New Owners
The New York Islanders have been sold by current owner Charles Wang to an investment group led by former Washington Capitals co-owner, Jon Ledecky and investor Scott Malkin. Ledecky and Malkin have only purchased a minority stake of the team, leaving Wang in charge for the next two years.
Once the next two years pass, Ledecky and Malkin will become the full owners of the New York Islanders.
Wang was quoted saying in an article on TSN that he is looking forward to a "long and successful partnership" with Ledecky and Malkin, expressing his excitement that they will be joining him for his final two years with the team.
Although all of the terms have not been released yet, one has to wonder how far Wang might actually be going. It is possible that Wang will still hold a minority stake in the team after the transition in ownership.
There is no doubt that Wang wanted to be around these next two years. He promised that the Islanders would finish out their lease at Nassau Coliseum - and they will, as next season will be their last in Uniondale.
But the following year is the one that probably means the most to Wang, as it signifies the end of his tenure in a County that did everything it could to push him out, and the foundation of a new home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Wang will want to be in charge of his team that he's lost millions upon millions as it sets up in a brand new facility, something he was never able to give to the residents of Nassau County.
The sale will likely not be approved by the NHL Board of Governors for a few months. TSN reports that the BOG meet again in September, but will likely not discuss the full ownership change until December.
This news came after it was made public that Andrew Barroway, the man who was rumored to be buying the Isles for quite some time, filed a $10 million lawsuit against Wang for backing out of a handshake agreement to purchase the team. Whether or not this handshake will hold up in court has yet to be determined, but it did not stop Wang from selling the team to the new investors that the newspapers had mentioned.
The tides are changing on this island, and all signs point to things getting better.
This team that has finished mainly in the bottom five for almost 10 years has finally been given a new arena, a young and dominant captain in John Tavares, depth players on offense, two legitimate goaltenders, and new owners that will have money to spend on free agents in the years ahead.
The future for current personnel, however, might be in jeopardy depending on this season. There is no question that Garth Snow must land a top-four defenseman to help improve his club for next year. Throw in that Jack Capuano will have limited excuses as to why his team couldn't make the playoffs if they fail to do so this year after improving the overall roster.
There jobs may certainly be on the line when Ledecky and Malkin take over if they do not deliver another playoff berth this year, the last and final year played at the building that Islanders fans have called home for over 40 years, before they start fresh in Brooklyn.
There have been many changes to this franchise, but still a lot of questions remain. The common denominator throughout all of this is that the Islanders have to do one thing.