Earlier on Friday, Lou Pellegrino of NBC Sports Radio tweeted that the New York Islanders had been sold to Andrew Barroway, a lawyer from Philadelphia. The sale turned out to be a false report, though it does seem that Barroway has talked to current Islanders owner Charles Wang about buying the team, which finished 26th in the league this year.
Steven Marcus of Newsday reached out to Barroway for comment, but all he had to say was ‘Sorry, I cannot talk yet’. Shortly after the tweet was sent, Pellegrino retracted his statement by saying that he had left his desk with his Twitter account open on his computer, and that a co-worker made the Tweet while he was out of the room. Not long after, Pellegrino’s account was deleted.
Charles Wang bought the Islanders with his business partner Sanjay Kumar in 2000. In 2004, Wang bought out Kumar and has been the majority owner ever since. Since then, the Islanders have only made the playoffs three times, and are now going to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn when their current lease with Nassau Coliseum expires in 2015. Wang announced his intentions to sell the team a few months ago, but there hasn’t been many rumblings about potential buyers up until now.I’ve been a lifelong Islanders fan, and I’ve seen the team go through its share of hardship. This tweet by Pellegrino is the latest in a long line of embarrassments for the Islanders, and I’m sure it’s the last thing anyone involved with the team wants. From a fan’s perspective, I look forward to the sale of the Islanders, as it will be the beginning of a new era for the team, hopefully an era similar to the 1980s.
The Islanders haven’t been a respected franchise for a long time now, starting with the John Spano fiasco in 1996. I’m hoping this club can find its way back to glory, but I also know you don’t build a Stanley Cup-winning team in one season. Wang truly loves the Islanders, and he fought tooth and nail to keep them on Long Island, though he eventually had to compromise and have the Isles go to Brooklyn.
I hope Wang can sell the club to an owner who loves the team just as much as he does, though I also hope the new owner knows a little more about hockey, and that he, or she, can get the club back on track.