UPDATED 2:15 pm: Jim Baumbach of Newsday praises the decision.
Darren Dreger of TSN has just reported that the Islanders have agreed in principle to play an exhibition game in Kansas City against the Los Angeles Kings. Ka-boom!!!!!!!
In his story, Dreger does a solid job of detailing the background to this decision, including…
- The fact that Tim Leiweke, the CEO of AEG – which operates the Sprint Center in KC – is also a governor of the LA Kings.
- The Islanders, since Charles Wang bought the team in 2000, have stayed away from even the slightest of veiled threats of leaving Long Island.
- As we reported on Sunday, there appears to be no signifcant progress over the last six months on the Lighthouse Project.
Dreger makes a point twice within his story to tell Islanders fans that the Islanders have no plans to move anywhere in the near future.
Whether the lack of progress led to the decision to travel to Kansas City for an exhibition game is unclear. When I called the Islanders at 11:00 am today, they had no comment on Dreger’s story. They could later in the day, so check back here and with Greg Logan during the day to see if details roll in.
Neutral site exhibition games can sometimes be profitable for the invited guests. Perhaps this is no more than an opportunity for the Islanders to get in some practice against a Western Conference team, enjoy some ribs and knock down their overwhelmingly annual losses by a few grand.
Our personal take: if everything was going swimmingly with the Town of Hempstead on the Lighthouse Project, the Islanders politely decline the Kings’ invitation to play a game in Kansas City.