An independent blog on the New York Islanders, the NHL and AHL by a guy from New York.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Charles Wang Sells: The Pending Sale Of Your New York Islanders

Earlier this afternoon, Arthur Staple tweeted from his vacation in Prague:

"BREAKING NEWS: Charles Wang has agreed to sell the Isles to Jon Ledecky, former co-owner of the Capitals, and investor Scott Malkin."

Brooklyn native, Jon Ledecky was a former co-owner of the Washington Capitals and Scott Malkin (Value Retail PLC) is a London based investor and founder of high end retail outlets in Europe in addition to being a trustee in the New York Public Library.  Both new owners have roots in New York and appear to have an interest in the Islanders as a New York team.  For those of us who will continually worry that the team could be moved with changes like this, Andy Graziano of Islanders Insight mentions that the NHL by-laws state that new owners can not relocate for a period of 7 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.

The initial deal, which still requires approval from the NHL board of governors in December, maps out like this:

Charles Wang remains the majority Owner for the next two seasons, being the final campaign at the NVMC and the inaugural season in the Barclays Center. 

“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."
After the initial two years, Wang retains a minority stake in the team while Ledecky and Malkin assume majority control of the storied franchise.  It also means, that Wang will remain in control for now and that Garth Snow and Jack Capuano will need to impress the new ownership.  Charles Wang bought the embattled Isles franchise in 2000 with then business partner, Sanjay Kumar for $74.2M and $97M in existing liabilities.  For all the missteps fans can put on Wang as the Islanders owner, it must again be said that he is most likely the only reason your New York Islanders remained and will still remain in New York.

The Islanders said there will be no further comment until the sale is approved by the NHL board of governors.  The deal between Ledecky, Malkin & Wang is said to be for $550M.  The prior "handshake" agreement said to be between Barroway and Charles Wang was reported to be $420M.  In Barroway's $10M lawsuit against Wang, the mentioned "third party" is assumed to be that of Ledecky & Malkin in the ballpark of $548M, per Brett Cyrgalis.

What all this will mean over the next few years remains to be seen.  I am pretty sure the team will stay in New York and this can only make the Islanders a more attractive and legitimate organization for the future.  In a few weeks, the team needs to put all this behind them and focus on galvanizing their much improved roster.  The goal should be to earn the respect that has been missing from the organization that their loyal fan base deserves.  Here's to hoping that today was another good piece of the puzzle for an improved Islanders organization. 

Is it October yet?

Isles Notes:

Islanders final season in the NVMC will feature a commemorative patch on the team's jerseys this season per Icethetics.  See the "teaser" image below.

Josh Ho Sang is insulted by Team Canada and vows to be as good as John Tavares.  Love the fight in this kid.  And as long as he continues to work hard & focus on the Isles team concept, he may just live up to his word.

Reports have surfaced that Peter Ruttgaizer has been replaced by Tigers & Redwings host, Shannon Hogan for the Isles pre and post game show. No official announcement as of yet.

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