Preliminary Thoughts on Charles Wang’s Potential Sale

Kevin Schultz

Last night a TSN Insider – the one without strong connections to a Toronto-based team and not in the business of getting people riled up about the Islanders for no good reason – broke a story that Islanders owner Charles Wang is in talks to sell his majority stake in the franchise.

Bob McKenzie, if you remember, is also the same person who broke that the Islanders would be moving permanently to the Barclays Center after the team had, one October morning, unexpectedly announced a press conference at the venue.

When the Islanders announced the move to the Barclays Center, it came out of nowhere. The press conference’s aim was spoiled before it started but other than that it was a well-kept state secret. There were no leaks leading up to the course of action, no breaks in the press that the move was imminent or to be announced in the coming days. That’s how I always imagined a sale of the team, if Wang chose (chooses?) to sell, would work. One day we would all wake up and ta-da, that’s it. No advanced warning. Well, that sort of happened today.

After nearly 15 years of owning the Islanders – and coincidentally the amount of time an owner has to depreciate the purchase price of a team under IRS tax law – Charles Wang may be looking to move on from the Islanders, according to McKenzie.

With a new era already set to begin as the team moves to Brooklyn, this would make for a doubly new era in Islanders history.

The obvious idea here is that some part of the Barclays Braintrust is buying the team. With how things have moved so fluidly between the two sides — from moving the hockey team there to installing Ratner as the developer for the Coliseum — you would have to think that would be the most likely option. But, of course, we don’t know.

Another scenario is a little darker; the Islanders have a 25-year “iron-clad” lease to play at the Barclays Center. Hopefully, if a sale does happen, it’s not to someone who is going to test the strength of the irons cladding that lease. The franchise has been down that road before. The counter to this thought is that there’s a lucrative cable deal that any buyer would be silly to be running away from, assuming they tried to leave the New York area.

Of course, business deals can fall apart after initial talks. Of course, media reports even from the best in the business are occasionally wrong. The last 10-games of a meaningless season did just get a lot more interesting and from someone who isn’t in the business of getting people riled up for no good reason.




99 comments
rob
rob

its pretty obvious that the people who own the Nets will buy the Islanders. end of story desole Quebec!

orange
orange

This will go down quietly just like Atlanta going to Winnipeg boom bang done so get ready for another Canadian team right here in Quebec

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

anyway, regardless what the jets and the giants did, islanders aren't moving to nj.

Brian Tierno
Brian Tierno

Guys I am just as anxious as everyone on here but nothing has happened yet to celebrate ,if and when it does ill be dancing in the street!!!!

gowhale
gowhale

Don't be fooled...Wang only bought this team as leverage in a real estate development proposition, his Lighthouse project.  I truly believe that he was spited for this by the TOH and that's why the Lighthouse was rejected.

mrcisback
mrcisback

                 I don't understand all the negativity coming from "some" Islander fans. You got your wish, Wang is going to sell the team. Everyone who constantly posts "Wang sucks and sell the team you crook", well your prayers have been answered. I thought all Islander fans would be very happy but some of the the comments i"m reading are just baffling. If you hate the organization that much then stop going to Islander games, stop watching them on TV and stop listening on the radio. Put your money where your mouth is. I was a big Knick fan and went to games and watched but i finally got tired of the nonsense with the Knicks and haven't watched them in 15 years. Lets just hope who buys the team hires some good hockey people and shows a real interest in the team. 

crazyjoedavola
crazyjoedavola

I just checked. I am in fact awake, and its no where near my birthday.

John Niemczyk
John Niemczyk

Wang was decent the first few years, actually seemed to want to win , but like a spoiled kid when he didn't get his land deal he threw a temper tantrum and took it out not on TOH but Islander fans by letting the team become a minor league operation


camb33
camb33

If Wang does sell, does the new owner  keep the shcills that are one this site on the payroll or are they cleaning house? If new owner is big on corsi I know a guy you probably shouldn't fire

frank vescio
frank vescio

Any idea on how fast Snowball would be thrown out the door if this goes through? I say he doesn't last more than 24 hrs. Cappy finishes the season, never to be heard from again

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

Chris Botta twitter account...


- NHL source confirms Bob Mc's Isles sale talks tweet. But source says:

1. Deal far from complete 2. Wang furious over news leak

orange
orange

How does this sound the Russian Islanders that's what will happen the first team outside north america to be in the NHL

Dean Patrick
Dean Patrick

Que the Benny Hill theme song please....it's going to be a very very interesting offseason

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

it's impossible to comment until you know who the buyer might be.

nonetheless, the words 'wang looking to sell' have an attractive ring to them.  very attractive.  let's hope...

Dan Coscino
Dan Coscino

Be gone with this odd man whose loyalty fixed upon the worst GM in NHL history (Milbury), the worst goalie in NHL history (DP post-2008), the worst head coach in NHL history (Capuano) and the worst GM in in the NHL right now (Snow).

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

When this crook finally releases the neck of this one proud franchise from his cold, clammy hands, it will be one of the happiest days of my life. 


It is inconceivable that any scenario could have been worse than having this career criminal hijack our team.


Even if the team had been sold and moved a dozen years ago, like in Winnipeg, another ownership group/franchise would have jumped in to fill the vacuum and given us our team back.


Instead we've been held hostage and left to rot.


Good riddance, don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out.  Just be grateful it's not a jail cell being locked down behind you.

br
br

To you and all others that are happy that wang selling team you are all blind morons. When new owner comes in buys team that will be playing in Brooklyn you really think this new owner gonna care about people of Long Island ? No he won't and he will change name of team to reflect their new home. So you idiots keep celebrating like it or not Charles wang owning team is only hope of islanders name surviving

Keeping the team in Nassau just isn't going to happen.

shamwow
shamwow

@John Niemczyk

Chuck Wang was "decent"?

Chuck is a criminal degenerate; decency has never been his calling.

Don22
Don22

@John Niemczyk I don't think temper tantrum is the right assimilation.  I think he just ran it like a business that is losing money.  What do you do when that happens?  You circle the wagons, tighten belts, consolidate resources and stop spending.  I'm not defending him - just saying he isn't doing what he is doing out of spite.  If he were that ticked off, he would have just sold the team outright.  But as a businessman he knows that's not a smart thing to do.  The smart thing is to run on a shoestring until you get the company back into a position to be sold.  Now he has a great least at Barclay that guarantees a new owner money.  The team is in position to be sold for the least amount of loss possible or even a profit.

tag1
tag1

@camb33 I know one poster on here who always tells us "wang is the owner he's not going anywhere deal with it' is very upset over this news.

Isles Fanatic
Isles Fanatic

@slapshot18_rs ...makes you wonder if he is furious over the leaks.... over how people seem to be overjoyed...hehe #windsofchange

John Richards
John Richards

Wang should be furious at the crappy product he peddles every year disguised as an NHL team!!

delo
delo

@Macacawitz   "When this crook finally releases the neck of this one proud franchise from his cold, clammy hands, it will be one of the happiest days of my life."

Problem is, we've said that about the other owners that came in and look where we (still) are? UGH!

Still, I'm hoping this one will have a good ending. 

willymayshays
willymayshays

@Macacawitz

Can't stand the Wang supporters.  Sure he kept the team in NY.  BUT what owner would want to move out of NY.  It's the sports capital (as in $) of the world!  He wanted his land deal, new arena and that's it.  He never gave two F's about his team or the fans.  My 9 yr old knows more about hockey.   

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

@br  i can see worrying about the team being moved.  and i can see worrying about getting another lousy owner.  but i really can't see worrying about a new owner wanting to change the name of the team, assuming it stays here.  why would someone want to do that?

Don22
Don22

@mitchfritz @mrcisbackRight.  It's probably going to happen sooner than later, but we're counting out chickens before they hatch.


But Mitch, let's be honest - there are guys here that seem to complain just to complain.  Speaking of which, have you seen any posts from Orange27.. lately?  I kid about lumping him in with complainers - but seriously, I don't think I've seen him posting in a while.  Did he get banned?   I hope all is ok.  I've fought with him a lot but he still is a good contributor. 

gjet93
gjet93

Thank you Kate Murray.

Brian Tierno
Brian Tierno

 you don't know that , that's one thing I know for sure!!!

shamwow
shamwow

@tag1 @camb33

RM is faxing his shill resume to Barclays at this very minute.

Good luck, old sport!

frank vescio
frank vescio

@tag1 @camb33  There's a few paid schill's running for the hills as we speak! 

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@John Richards  hes a stubborn POS.  knowing him, he'll hold onto the team in spite.


also, his asking price for the team is $300 mil (botta), so not too sure he'll get a bite on that either. 

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

@willymayshays @MacacawitzHad anyone else but Wang purchased this team, they'd have a new building and still be on Long Island.  Wang has a notorious history that he's been trying to out run for a decade.  Even if someone else would have bought and moved the team another organization would have moved in within a year.  A group willing to finance a new building and and Islanders 2.0 would be playing somewhere on the Island.  Of course it depends on who the new owners would be, but I have a very strong suspicion that if he does sell, the team will be back in Nassau in a relatively short period of time.  The basketball arena will be a disaster and inevitably it will apparent that they need their own building. Watch the private equity and support from politicians reappear as soon as this con man is out of the picture.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@willymayshays @Macacawitz  Willy i usually agree with you but tell that to the owners who moved the NY Jets and the NY Nets to jersey and almost the NY Yankees.

br
br

This is why I worry. The name islanders makes sense right now. What about 5 years from now when they in Brooklyn for 5 years as time goes by the name will have no purpose it will be a Brooklyn team and I guarantee name will be changed to reflect that

dzruggie
dzruggie

@dkdk  Not exactly true. The land deal fell through so he gambled that the county - fans would build the arena and that was voted down.  When that failed he moved the team.  My point is there was a time after the failed land grab where he could have decided to move to Brooklyn BEFORE they built the Barclays and they could have built a 2 sport arena there,

dkdk
dkdk

And wang gives a flying f? Really? That is funny. As soon as his land grab failed he stopped spending, stopped negotiating with the town and MOVED the team.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@rmreturns  Absolutely correct about the business aspect.  The reality and the point that bothers the common fan is that his initial spending appeared to link to the idea of increasing the importance / value of the on ice product to better posture his bargaining position to push the Lighthouse project.  Of course the town said no to the scale and then the market tanked and thus the need to apply basic operating principals Don mentions above.  It is in this context that the perception of him being only about the land takes hold.  

For me I believe that if he spent to the cap max it would not change his basic revenue stream from his TV deal and the "extra" fans in the seats would not produce enough revenue to cover the salaries and cost, so again the only option is what you and Don mention above.

People take that personally though.......

shamwow
shamwow

@tag1 @shamwow@camb33

And when you dig a little deeper into the numbers cited in that Forbes article the shill continually crows about, it's obvious Chuck hasn't lost money owning the Islanders over the past decade...

The 20M yearly Cable TV contract money more than offsets the Team's average annual Operating Loss of -8.2M for the past decade...

A fraud through and through...

But that's what Chuck's best at.

John Richards
John Richards

Absolutely wangfraud puts a better product on the ice let's say they make the playoffs 4-5-6 years in a row have one or two big runs the team is not looked upon as a joke!! Imagine let's say, 5 years in a row where the team has 8-10 playoff games at home maybe even a run like the bolts did in 2011 or the ducks did in 2006/07!! There would be a new nvmc built already and we wouldn't be playing in jay-zs bball joint in 2015!!

tag1
tag1

@shamwow @camb33 He's still whining about the lease and the building, the lease was changed years ago by Suozzi and if wang hired the right people and not his backup goalie as GM for starters he would have filled that building at full price tickets and considering he only lost a little over a million last season he could have made money there with a better product on the ice..

Don Smythe
Don Smythe

@Macacawitz @willymayshaysSorry folks. This team is gone from Nassau by the end of '14-15 There's no way the NHL will let anyone play in a building that won't even seat 14,000 people. And there's nowhere else in Nassau to build.After all, don't you think that if someone else had an idea for a new building, we'd have heard it by now? I wish there were a way to keep them in Nassau, but unless Ratner has a set set of plans for a 17,000 seat building up his sleeve, it won't.


Remember also: The Isles were one of the first of the suburban generation of teams. In the 1970s, the idea was to get out of the cities and put the arenas/stadia in the 'burbs. The Coliseum, Meadowlands, Capital Center, Richfield Coliseum (Ohio), Silverdome and Texas Stadium were all built during this time. 


That trend changed in the 1990s, when teams began to move back into the cities, all the better to attract businessfolks with bigger wallets. Teams nowadays focus on the big-money patrons; they don't care about the guys/families who go to a game (or a few games) per season. Brooklyn, though a lousy hockey arena, fits this mold perfectly. You can take the subway/LIRR to the door, eat at one of its numerous facilities, watch the game and take train/subway home.


Sad to say, the suburban arena is dead (football is a different issue). I went to the game in Brooklyn; if you have one of the 10,000-12,000 seats with good sight lines, it's great. Otherwise, not so much. But get used to it. This is the future.



dkdk
dkdk

Wang is criminal slime and everyone he gets involved knows it and refuses to negotiate with him. He is a pariah with a well deserved rep.

Don Smythe
Don Smythe

@mrcisback I worked for the Nets during the Dr. J (not Jay) era. I ca assure you, the packed houses were few and far between. That's why Roy Bow (who owned Isles and Nets) raided his hockey team to keep the hoops team going. Isles got in such dire straits that they had to pay cash at hotels. Nets got so desperate they had to sell Dr. J.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@mitchfritz @mrcisback   No it wasn't that long ago. Were just getting old. LOL Good talking to you Mitch, gotta run.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@mitchfritz   Mitch LA  and the Giants are a better example but i didn't want to go that far back.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@mitchfritz @mrcisback   I would do that but i could see there being friction between Tavares and Toews just like there was between Parise and Kovalchuk.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@mitchfritz @mrcisback   Any player could be traded if Gretzky was traded. I'd always listen to what teams are offering for any player. For example if Colorado was offering Matt Dushane, Mckinnen and another top player for Tavares i'd think pretty seriously. But with that being said if Tavares was traded it would probably be the last straw for me.Tom Seaver is probably one of most favorite players of all time and if he played on a good team for his career add 30 more wins to his record.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@mitchfritz @mrcisback   Ok Mitch we'll agree to disagree respectively. By the way theres no way in hell i trade Ryan Strome. It will be a big mistake.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@mitchfritz @mrcisback   Its not splitting hairs Mitch. The bottom line is both teams moved. Even though the Jets are called the NY Jets Jersey gets 90 to 95% of the profits. I really don't know how old you are Mitch but as far as the NY Nets go i used to go to games in the 70's when Dr Jay was there and the place was packed