New York Islanders: Rumors Shake the Ownership Outlook

Mike BlazowskiAnalyst IOctober 1, 2012

UNIONDALE, NY - AUGUST 01: Owner Charles Wang (R) of the New York Islanders addresses the media to announce that the new arena voter referendum failed as Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano (L) and a member of the labor union look on at the Nassau Coliseum August 1, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. Wang has said that without a new arena, he may have no choice but to move the team out of Nassau County.  (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)
Andy Marlin/Getty Images

As if us Islander fan's haven't had enough to deal with lately with the lockout, Visnovsky holding out, the recent RFQ, players taking flight to Europe, players heading to the AHL and last year's 500 performance. Today we were greeted with another monkey wrench in the gears of the Islander machine.

The New York Post published an article on Monday, claiming that "European investors had contacted Pat LaFontaine with interests in buying the team."

The article goes on to state that current owner Charles Wang is requiring $300 million for the purchase of the team, the same team he purchased for $130 million back in 2000.

Mr. LaFontaine is a family man who has been committed to the Long Island area since he first played here, while also a current coach for the very successful Long Island Royals Jr.'s squad.

While Islander fans may jump at the idea of one of the greatest players to ever suit up in an Isles uniform buying the team and pumping some cash back into the franchise, a few questions really have to be asked. 

Who are these investors? The Post didn't provide any insight as to who these people are or cite any sources.

Why hasn't Pat said anything? While we all know the relationship between Wang and Pat is strained to say the least, you'd think that with something this big in the works, Pat would have at least a few words to say about it.

Why would these investors over-pay by $170 million for an under- .500 team? That just poor business.

A lot of fans are quick to blame Wang for the recent woes, saying he hasn't been willing to spend money and relating it back to the trouble of the 1990's when the team was run on the most austere of budgets. There is a crucial difference to be made, though, between that era and now.

Mr. Wang hasn't outright refused to spend money. While we all must agree he hasn't exactly thrown bucket loads of cash at free agents, one must also be realistic about the willingness of most free agents to come play on the island, let alone the gross over payment required lately for free agents to play for any team whatsoever.

In a perfect world, the Islanders would be bought by LaFontaine and this investment group, the RFQ will be won by someone that builds a new coliseum and the Islanders march on to a return to former glory of the 80's.

In reality, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone with half a brain who'd buy a franchise that apparently "loses 40 million dollars a year" for twice what the estimated value is. We've been given a false hope with no legitimate source to back it up.

All we can do is hope the lockout ends, the Islanders come to a playoff or near playoff run and the RFQ gets us a new building, but we must also be aware of these mystery investors and false hopes. A fair amount of rumors always surround teams with questionable futures and right now the Islanders are no exception.


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