Since 2001, when Wang bought the team, he had a vision of making Hempstead a luxury and a hot spot location on Long Island. But as we all have witnessed it hasn't become reality and now the commissioner of the NHL Gary Bettman is calling out Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and the town itself! 9 years of this bickering between Wang and the Town AND NOW Bettman gets involved...not exactly great negotiating wouldn't you say?
Now according to Newsday.com, Wang has been EXPLORING all of his options since his October 3rd deadline, wanting a YES or NO about the Project. So what are his options, lets take a look(in no particular order):
1) Kansas City---not going to happen
2) Stay in Uniondale---best bet
3)Move to Queens---could happen
4)Move to Brooklyn ---not likely to happen according to Bettman
5)Move to Suffolk County---never say never, but don't count on it
6) Move completely out of the country---not going to happen
Here are a few quotes from Bettman, and quite frankly if you are an Islanders fan as I am, I am horrified...but I'll let you be the judge of that.
"It's unfortunate that, for whatever reason, the governing bodies on Long Island can't seem to get their act together," he said on WFAN. "At some point, I suppose Charles Wang is going to lose patience and decide . . . there has to be something he can do somewhere that will make sense."
Last week, the Hempstead Town Board approved a plan for the town to pay a consulting firm to study different development proposals for the publicly owned land around the Nassau Coliseum, where Wang's Islanders play their home games and where Wang has proposed a large-scale development project complete with high-rise buildings. At a news conference, Supervisor Kate Murray said the consultants would propose a "scaled-down" version of Wang's plans by early summer"....
"The bigger point is, does it make sense based on where the Islanders hockey fan base is to go to Brooklyn? . . . I don't know the answer to it," he said. "I think most hockey fans are based in either Queens or Nassau or Suffolk. . . . I think Charles' preference, and I know it is, would be to keep the Islanders in a place where Islanders' fans - current Islanders' fans - would be able to continue to go to the games."
Enter Willets Point? The New York City's Economic Development Corp. is expected to issue a Request for Proposals for a 62-acre tract of land sometime this year. On the surface, the site would seem to be an attractive alternative for Wang because it is large enough to fit most of the Lighthouse plans, including an arena for the Islanders"
The big thing surrounding the Lighthouse Project now is that Queens has repeatedly showed massive amounts of interest in bringing the Islanders to Willits Point. According to the article "A spokesman for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said neither the mayor nor other City Hall officials have spoken to Wang about moving the Islanders to the city. Jack Friedman, the executive vice president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, who has been outspoken about his desire to bring the Islanders to Willets Point, said Monday that neither Wang nor his staff has returned his many phone messages."
Hopefully, Kate Murray, the Town of Hempstead, Charles Wang and Gary Bettman can come to an agreement before it is too late. If worse comes to worse and the Islanders do re-locate, it will be to either Queens or Brooklyn.
I'll leave you with that for now, let me know what you think.
I'll be back tomorrow with a look at the NHL season up til now and the last 20 games remaining and what trades teams might make for the final playoff push.