Great news Islander fans. The Islanders have sold 2 home dates already in the 2009 pre-season in 30 minutes.
The only bad news is they are in Saskatoon.
Process that for a second....
This story is not going away Islander fans. The Islanders are at risk. The longer Kate Murray and her beleaguered Town of Hempstead hold up the process, the greater the risk Charles Wang throws his hands up in the air and puts the big FOR SALE sign on the Islanders.
Don't think the Islanders have any value? You would be grossly mistaken. What other NHL franchise is going to move? Expansion is a dead issue as the league has rightfully maxed out at 30 teams. The only way the cities that are hungry for hockey are going to get it is through relocation. That in of itself makes the market for a hockey team in the 5 possible landing sites of Kansas City, Saskatoon, Hamilton Seattle and Las Vegas a strong one AND could create a bidding war for the team.
Don't think the NHL would let a 4 time Stanley Cup Champion and a team with the history of the Islanders move? You would be grossly mistaken. If History tells us anything its that most any team can move. Don't believe me? The name Indianapolis Colts still doesn't sound right. St. Louis Rams? Loas Angeles Raiders? It can happen. It will happen if they don't get this project off the ground. Bank on it.
Don't think Cablevision would let the Islanders out of their contract? You would be grossly mistaken. Cablevision owes the Islanders around 567 million over the next 20 seasons. In the state the team is in, do you really believe that the Dolan's would not dance the Irish jig if the Islanders broke their contract?
Don't think the Islanders can get out of their lease with the County? You would be grossly mistaken. The Islanders have 5 seasons left n their lease with the County. That lease is a contract. Any fan of the Islanders knows that contracts can be bought out. Any purchase of the team will have to include compensation to the County for the lease.
January has one week left. The hearings on the Lighthouse project were supposed to happen this month. Any more delays will result in the scuttling of the plans for a July groundbreaking. That may be enough for Mr. Wang to break out those "For Sale" signs.
Town of Hempstead - 516-538-8500
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