The New York Islanders were already stuck with a major problem before the NHL lockout began; now that problem has only gotten greater.
There are only three seasons (the lockout included) scheduled until Charles Wang's Islanders will be in a new home. Whether that new home is the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a new or renovated arena developed at the Hub in Uniondale or Quebec, Seattle, or another city due to relocation is unknown. (Photo Credit: Nuke812/Flickr)
Despite the fan banter and lack of talks between the powers that be, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano was accepting RFQ's to be granted permission to develop the site that holds the Nassau Coliseum. Some developers made it clear that they would want to keep the Islanders in their plans. However, there has been little discussion since then and it remains uncertain as to what will happen.
Katie Strang dropped a rock in the Isles' pond last Thursday when she tweeted, "#Isles owner Charles Wang just left NHL offices although it doesn't appear he was there for labor talks."
The question that follows, of course, is this: What was he there for?
Tweets in response ranged from the hopeful (and perhaps purely emotional) -- "IS HE SELLING?" -- to the downright silly, such as speculation over Wang and commissioner Gary Bettman bonding over some reality TV. But outside of Strang's tweet, there's been very little suggesting as to the nature of Wang's trip, which isn't surprising coming from an organization like the Islanders.
It was reported today by Randi Marshall of Newsday that four developers have applied to become the master developers of the Nassau Coliseum area known as the Hub. (Photo Credit: Nuke812/Flickr)
"Patchogue -based Baldassano Architecture submitted an application, managing partner Alex Badalamenti confirmed Tuesday. Garden City developer Breslin Realty also submitted its qualifications, a source said. They will compete with Plainview developer Donald Monti and Syosset developer Ed Blumenfeld."
Monti has already expressed a strong desire to keep the New York Islanders in Nassau County through is developments if he is chosen, stating in a previously printed Newsday article that losing the team would be a "travesty" and that his plans "will be with the Islanders staying."
The New York Islanders are heading straight towards the expiration of their lease with Nassau Coliseum in 2015 and still have no plan set for what will happen with the Hub, as well as the future of the Long Island's only professional sports team.
Recently, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano released a statement to Newsday that he is looking for developers that are interested in developing the site. His plan would have a master developer renovate or construct a new Coliseum that could potentially keep the Islanders here.
However, Mangano's RFQ (Request for Qualification) would provide the master developer the right to share revenue with the Islanders while the team basically remained a tenant in a building that the owner had nothing to do with being built.
Can you see where this already seems like a "wait...what?" scenario?
It is no lie that the Islanders are in need of some secondary scoring. Of the many forwards left on the free agent market two names, Alexander Semin and Shane Doan, should be sticking out to Islanders GM Garth Snow and Owner Charles Wang. (Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated)
To paraphrase an old adage; ‘An opinion is like a proctologists playground, everyone has one … and they all stink.’
With the NHL season ending and the draft just two weeks away, anyone who follows the sport of hockey will read or hear many opinions offered on what their favorite teams’ needs are, who to draft and which free agents should be pursued. It’s just fun to spend other peoples’ money.
So once Mr. Wang is done spending his folding money on NHL players’ contracts, let me offer my opinion on what should he should do with the change left in his pocket.
An opinion is only as good as the assumptions it is built on. So here are some of the things I will assume (with ‘ass-u-me’ being another obvious rectal reference), before I offer my opinions. This summers’ Islanders training camp will be a very competitive one at all positions. There will be a battle for back-up goalie between Anders Nilsson and Kevin Poulin. The loser of this battle will become the Sound Tigers top tender for the 2012-13 season and prove himself a winner. (Kevin Poulin/Photo: Pope Steve XXVII)
In the last several days, Chris Botta and Ed Mangano released some comments for Islanders fans that feel that their team's stay in Nassau is in jeopardy. (Robert Kowal/Flickr)
Kate Murray's twitter comments in April did not give many Islanders fans the belief that the team would be staying in Nassau County after 2015. While there haven't been any rumblings or re-invigorated talks between Wang and Nassau County, Mangano provided a glimmer of hope when he stated:
With the playoff picture narrowing by the day, Matt Martin gave me a call yesterday afternoon to discuss some playoff hockey as well as to take a look at the Islanders as they prepare for next season.
Martin is currently waiting for a new contract with the New York Islanders and has been training a lot this off-season in preparation for 2013. He set an NHL record in 2012 with 374 hits in 80 games played to go along with tying his career high of 14 points. Along with his explosions along the wall, Martin has become one of the biggest fan-favorites for the New York Islander. In fact, his hard work, fisticuffs and willingness to stick up for his teammates earned him the Bobby Nystrom Award for 2012.
But apparently all that hard work takes it's toll. The guy didn't even do to much for his 23rd birthday that just passed on May 8th.
The NHL's current collective bargaining agreement might look a bit different heading into the 2013 season. After the lockout in 2005, the NHL implemented a salary cap after forfeiting an entire season - it appears that both the players and the owners have learned from their past foolish mistakes and won't let that happen again, but there are matter that might not be settled so easily.
One of them is an amnesty clause. Basically, an amnesty clause would allow any team to eliminate a bad player contract under certain conditions. The NBA elected to put this clause into their CBA back in 2005, but it came with a twist. If an organization chose to use the amnesty clause, the player still received a paycheck that counted against the cap, but they did not have to pay a luxury tax on these waived salaries.
Whether or not the NHL and its players will be able to come to terms on something similar, or entirely different, will remain to be seen until the talks are officially underway.