Truth be told, the Isles haven’t been doing much anyways in terms of improving thanks to ownership, so really this news is more about the potential that things will get better; not that they’ll get worse.
Wang Finally Sells The Islanders
New York Islanders fans haven’t had much to cheer for over the last decade but Tuesday’s news that owner Charles Wang has sold the team is definitely worth celebrating. Wang had no clue what he was doing as an owner and was flying by the seat of his pants. We’ll see what the owners plan to do but realistically, this team can’t get any worse.
Who’s The New Owner?
The first thing that you need to know is that the Wang – like a bad virus – is still going to hang around for a little while. As of now, he’s sold a minority share of the team to former Washington Capitals co-owner Jon Ledecky and a London-based investor, Scott Malkin. Over the next two years, that group will eventually become majority owners but for now, they have the smaller piece of the pie. We don’t know what that means really as the Isles could be caught in limbo. Wang won’t want to invest much into the team since he’s selling it while the incoming owners won’t have the authority to make moves.
In terms of Ledecky, he was a part owner of the Capitals before selling his minority share in 2001. The Isles have been hemorrhaging money as fans have stopped going to games to protest Wang’s pathetic efforts. Ledecky should be a boon for the team.
How To Bet The News
The future is bright for the Islanders but not yet. They’ll move into the Barclays Center starting next year and new ownership takes over in 2016. They have a superstar with John Tavares and a slew of young prospects that should join him and make this team a contender in the Eastern Conference. However, that’s all still off in the distance. In other words, none of this will have a direct impact on the Isles futures for the coming year or their day-to-day action.
As of now, this is a team that finished third-last in the Eastern Conference and may have to live without Tavares for a portion of the coming season as he recovers from an ACL injury. General manager Garth Snow, who is likely going to get axed as soon as new ownership have authority to make decisions, had a so-so offseason. Yes, he acquired Jaroslav Halak but he also overpaid for the likes of Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin. Recall that this was a playoff team two years ago so they’re not far off. They need about 15 more points from their 79 from last year to genuinely be in the playoff hunt.
If the new owners can call the shots even though they are minority stakeholders for now and can get a new GM in, look for that to give the Isles a big boost on the ice. Fans are genuinely excited that Wang is gone and if Snow is too, this team should be about 10 points better thanks to optimism.
Their -42 goal differential was fourth-worst in the NHL last season, their blue line had no player that was better than a +5 and their goaltending situation may not be that much better with Halak between the pipes. Those three faults are like anchors holding them back. Until they can get a new GM who can actually fix these problems, don’t expect much change with this team.