Posts Tagged ‘new york islanders’

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

A group of local lawmakers is proposing the New York Islanders return to Nassau Coliseum, the barn which the team called home for more than 40 seasons before it uprooted for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2015.

Nassau and Suffolk county lawmakers will hold a press conference Friday, urging the firm redeveloping Nassau Coliseum to make the required upgrades needed for the Islanders’ return.

“We have been assured by (developer) Nassau Events Center that they are very willing to make necessary modifications to accommodate an NHL team,” Nassau lawmakers wrote in a letter to the Islanders’ ownership, according to Robert Brodsky and Jim Baumbach of Newsday.

Seating capacity was a primary concern why the Islanders left Nassau Coliseum, a 1971-built arena that had 16,170 seats. The ongoing renovation has reduced it to 13,000. The Winnipeg Jets are home to the NHL’s smallest arena by seating capacity, coming in at 15,294.

In a statement to Newsday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Nassau Coliseum is not a “suitable option” for the Islanders.

However, the move to Brooklyn has not been without its own concerns, as the arena was initially built for basketball, leaving many seats with an obstructed view of the Islanders’ ice surface.

The Islanders have a 25-year lease at Barclays Center, but can opt out of the agreement as early as 2018. In April, the team submitted a request for proposal to build a new arena at Belmont Park in Nassau County.

While the location of the team’s future home remains uncertain, the Islanders will play at least one more game at Nassau Coliseum, as it was announced last month that the arena will host a preseason game next season between the Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers.

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Jordan Eberle and John Tavares will have the opportunity to create magic together once again.

Eberle was dealt to the New York Islanders in a one-for-one deal that sent Ryan Strome back to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. For Eberle, he leaves the only team he’s ever played for. Though, getting the chance to play alongside the Islanders captain is something the 27-year-old is already thrilled about.

“John Tavares is a generational player,” Eberle said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to play with him and hopefully bring success to the Islanders.”

Back in 2009, Eberle and Tavares suited up as linemates for Team Canada at the world juniors and connected for Eberle’s iconic goal against Russia in the dying seconds of the semifinals to send the game to overtime. The two would later score the lone shootout goals to send Canada to the gold-medal game.

Years later the two remain in contact and, as Eberle notes, even train together with other members of the Islanders in the offseason.

“The Islanders are a team where I know a lot of the guys,” Eberle said. “I’ve trained with Thomas Hickey, John Tavares, Andrew Ladd, and (Travis) Hamonic.”

After tallying his lowest goal total in a full 82-game season since his rookie campaign, maybe playing alongside Tavares is just what Eberle needs to get his numbers back up to the 30-goal range.

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The first step toward opting out of a 25-year agreement between Barclays Center and the New York Islanders has been taken, sources tell Jim Baumbach and Robert Brodsky of Newsday.

The arena’s parent company, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, recently notified the club in writing that the window to renegotiate the terms of the license agreement is open, as per the terms of the deal.

Baumbach and Brodsky further explain what this means:

The two sides have until Jan. 1, 2018, to renegotiate the terms, according to the summary of the license agreement previously obtained by Newsday. If no new deal is reached, the two sides can stay with the current deal or choose to opt out. Each side would have until Jan. 30, 2018, to deliver an opt-out notice in writing.

If the Islanders decide to opt out, the team can choose to leave at the end of next season or at the end of the 2018-19 season. If Barclays triggers the opt-out, the Islanders would have to leave after the 2018-19 season.

Back in April, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed the Islanders are planning to submit a bid to build an arena in Belmont Park, while Baumbach and Brodsky report the operators of Barclays Center will present a plan that would send the team back to a freshly renovated Nassau Coliseum.

The letter is described as a procedural step, and both the Islanders and Barclays Center declined to comment.

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The New York Islanders are getting set to open the bank for captain John Tavares.

According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, the club is likely to offer Johnny T an 8-year contract worth upward of $10 million per season.

Tavares is still under contract for one more season, but as Staple points out, New York general manager Garth Snow is eager to lock down his franchise player before potentially losing him for nothing in the 2018 free-agency window.

Next season Tavares is under contract for a bargain price of $5.5 million and, despite a down year this past season in which he posted 66 points – his lowest since the 2013-14 campaign – the 27-year-old is still an elite-level talent who would have teams salivating at the thought of acquiring his services.

Whether Tavares ends up staying in Brooklyn, or Long Island, long-term remains to be seen.

However, the four-time All-Star has previously made it clear that he fully intends on staying with New York, wanting a deal in place as soon as possible, according to Brian Compton of NHL.com.

Tavares has played all of his 587 NHL games with the Islanders.

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The New York Islanders might be zeroing in on a new home.

The club intends to file a bid with the state to construct a new arena at Belmont Park, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed Friday.

“Yes, there is a (request for proposal) for Belmont and I know they are going to participate in that,” Bettman told a group from The Associated Press Sports Editors, according to Newsday’s Mike Rose, Jim Baumbach, and Robert Brodsky.

As he’s said before, Bettman made it clear Islanders owners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are “reviewing their options” – another of which is the land next to Citi Field, home of Major League Baseball’s New York Mets, in Willets Point.

“I believe that everyone thinks there is a terrific opportunity there, if not at Willets Point, to create a more hockey-friendly environment for the Islanders, which is something Scott is committed to do,” Bettman said.

The NHL club has been talking with the Mets’ owners about collaborating on the potential development, sources told Newsday.

Belmont Park has been on the Islanders’ radar for months, as Newsday reported in July.

A deadline is nearing for the team and Barclays Center officials to begin renegotiating their license agreement. That renegotiation period must happen before either side can opt out of the pact in January.

The Islanders have been exploring alternatives to the current arena due to its well-documented lackluster ice conditions, poor sightlines, and the difficult commute it requires for many of the team’s fans on Long Island.

A report from Chris Botta in October claimed Barclays Center’s piping system doesn’t meet NHL requirements, and Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick reported in January that arena officials were looking at terminating their agreement with the Islanders.

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The New York Islanders‘ biggest rival may be helping to foot the bill for their new barn.

New York Rangers owner James Dolan is among a group of investors offering a new arena proposal for the Islanders, according to Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick, who cited people familiar with the proposal discussions.

The new plan is being spearheaded by the Islanders, Oak View Group – for which Dolan is an investor – and Sterling Project Development, which is controlled by the Wilpon family, owner of the New York Mets.

The Islanders have called the Barclays Center in Brooklyn their home since the beginning of 2015-16, but the relationship between the NHL club and the arena has taken a turn as of late.

In January, Soshnick reported that Barclays Center officials deemed it no longer in their best financial interest to house the Islanders, preferring to focus on the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets as well as concerts and other events.

That leaves the Islanders and the Barclays Center with two options. Either the club terminates its lease, allowing the team to move on in 2017-18, or the arena backs out, giving the Islanders until the end of 2018-19 to find a new home.

The new proposal to be put forth by Dolan and Co. calls for a venue to be built at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., just outside of Queens, according to Soshnick.

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Well, this is a whale of an idea.

Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy is presenting an interesting option amid the New York Islanders‘ uncertainty surrounding their present and future home.

Malloy offered up Hartford’s XL Center as an option for “interim use” in a letter sent to Islanders owners John Ledecky, Scott Malkin, and Charles Wang on Friday.

The governor then took it one step further, implying that the arena could be NHL-worthy for a longer period of time with a few adjustments.

“Of course, as we pursue the transformation of the building into today’s NHL standards, we would suggest the building as a long-term solution to your needs as well,” Malloy writes.

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that officials associated with the Barclays Center, the Islanders’ current home, have concluded it’s no longer worth housing the franchise.

If Barclays Center does opt out, the NHL club would need a new home for after the 2018-19 season.

Malloy’s letter, obtained by TV station WFSB, touts Hartford as an NHL market and also attempts to sell the owners on the city’s corporate community and the proximity of many affluent residents to the arena.

It also points out that the Islanders’ AHL affiliate is not far from Hartford in Bridgeport, Conn.

Malloy ends his pitch by offering to meet with the Islanders’ brass.

Hartford has been without an NHL team since the Whalers left for Raleigh, N.C. and became the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997.

The AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack play at the XL Center, which seats just under 15,000 people.