Comeuppance: Charles Wang and NY Met’s Wilpon ARE Talking

Guess this blogger picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue

Early-morning on a bathroom jaunt, I checked my phone messages, and there is was…Newsday was spoon-fed that Charles Wang has indeed been talking to Wilpon.

Of course, you get the obligatory commentor on the site acting like any Isles blogger has this in their side pocket, and did not run errant for days/weeks/months…me questioning THN’s Ken Campbell on his validity, the myriad of pro-Brooklyn pieces elsewhere, or the ToH-centric pieces that were in Newsday itself till now.

I’ll happily be wrong if Queens comes to fruition. Queens, not Brooklyn, was even conjectured here and on Nick’s blog as being the more believable venue option. Lines in the water shot out back in November curiously coinciding with the Isles “going dark”.

It also comes interesting enough as response to the inaccurate information coming from Canadian outlets about loans, payouts and the NHL possibly being called in to run the team…all also shown as false as the league’s Bill Daley denied this to inquires finally made by Newsday and the Post.

It wasn’t until someone within the Isles finally blinked and Wilpon was touted-out to Newsday to finally have some straight dope here. Ken Campbell was the only hockey bloke who had this, and even the Mets media did not seem to know about it. So a big boon there for THN’s dapper blogger. Sorry for doubting you, old bean.

Of course, despite the story, nothing is solved or done. Per Wilpon, it has been “exploratory”. This would make sense since Wang has also still been in touch with the Town of Hempstead recently. He is also waiting for their own plans for the area.

The problem now with Nassau and ToH is that they have considered themselves in control of the Isles and hockey fate. However, as the Wilpon and Queens line in the water has shown, that is not quite the case.

They now can stare as a professional sports team gaping hole if the ToH plans go too far to their own self-serving ends…and the chances of that are pretty high, no guesswork needed here.

As County Exect Edward Mangano now touts casinos, which will never fly in that space thanks to the colleges next door, nor the fact casinos decimate and slummify the surrounding areas, Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead have now a problem…

They might lose the only professional team they had over partisan and suburban pandering.

So the end game is now fully in gear, and the Isles have been holding Wilpon as an ace card. It remains to be seen on how this play out, but you can be asssured that Isles bloggers and even Newsday were taken by surprise by all of this, until the Isles decided to finally show their hand.

Kudos to THN’s Campbell, and my apologies for doubting the story. It smacked at first of the same silliness Brooklyn projections had, and it is a nice surprise that there is something to all this after all. I’d like to also add that Ken has pretty handsome gray hair. He will also likely kick my ass in LA next month.

As for the Town of Hempstead, who have been waiting for Charles to come to them, it is more likely that to save any face here they might need to come to Wang if the truly want to hold on to the Isles which they once cited was oh-so-important when they blew wads of tax payer cash on those mailers.

Next chapter to all this should be a hoot. Let’s hope this new avenue in Queens turns into something tangible than just exploratory.

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About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.

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  1. Valentino says:

    Fact is – The Isles in Queens would be the best thing for everyone. The ability to access the facility via mass transit is a huge bonus ( LIRR and NYC subway). The prospects of cross marketing the Isles to a huge Mets fanbase would be a boon. Should Wang decide to sell, Wilpon would be a perfect fit. He has demonstrated the will and ability to sign free agents in baseball and there is no reason to think that wouldnt carry over to hockey operations.

    Lastly, what used to be a 2 sided disagreement ( wang and hempstead) is about to become a 3 sided disagreement ( wang, hempstead and mangano with nassau county. I wholly agree that there is no way that a casino is going to fly in hempstead if they were against the lighthouse. But the thing to consider is that it appears that both mangano and damato plan on exploring the idea. That means more and more delays. there is just no way that after all is said and done, that wang will have a new area by 2015. Not with the new monkey wrench of a casino plan by nassau that took hempstead by surpise. Wang should not play ball here. He should slap everyone back to reality (hempstead’s Murray, nassau’s Mangano, and damato) and simply walk away. Go to queens or sell to Wilpon outright.
    Enough is enough.

  2. Joe says:

    I’d hate for Wang to sell the team, but he has been loyal to L.I. to a fault. Kate Murray and her Cronies have been jerking him around for years, & it appears that he may have had enough, and I can’t blame him. It would be a shame to have them leave Uniondale but Queens would be a much better option than leaving the immediate area. The Wilpons could definately promote the team to a huge fanbase, and getting to the games would be a snap for many in the 5 boros, as well as L.I. Then Kate Murray can make the Courtesy Hotel the Borgata of the future slum of L.I. to go along with their casino. Teriffic!

  3. BDGallof says:

    I agree with you, and though i still think they should be in Nassau as the best scenario, the ToH town board friction and either sides unwillingness to find common ground has made Queens the best situation. Queens is an optimal middleground that doesn’t have NIMBYS screaming about LIRR train lines and already is a successful sports destination.

    My guess is Queens and Wilpon’s addition to the mix might even give them other options to explore and kicks out Nassau County who was never onboard Wang’s dream.

    As for Wilpon possibly owning the Isles….don’t buy that just yet. Nor is it necessarily a good thing ultimately. Lets see how the Mets have stuttered since the Wilpons took over…

    however, the more important thing is that …as i and even Botta have been saying….

    Isles will NOT be moving out of the area. No Canada. No KC.

  4. orngfan says:

    nassau county makes the most sense in REALITY. who wouldn’t want a state of the art arena in hempstead to attract awesome concerts, ncaa regional basketball games, frozen four possibilities and more!.. but the majority of people who vote in nassau county elections are apparently as foolish as the people who they elect. who wants revenue streams like that? no lets let the only major venue on LI close, let the team and their tax revenues move to queens or brooklyn. there is no way any 16k or more person venue can survive without a regular tenant.

    just move to queens already i dont think the town of hemstead DESERVES any improvements i hope they choke on that land!!!! my dream is that the coliseum becomes a scene reminiscent of the superdome post-katrina while the islanders win CUP after CUP in queens revitalizing their economy and leading to growth in tax base that TOH could only dream of!!

  5. Isles Fanatic says:

    BD,

    I would agree with you in regards to the team not moving away from the area, but the Bill Daily denial does not reassure me one bit.

    He and Bettman denied any such rumors for Phoenix until the day the team declared bankruptcy, only once the court proceedings began did they admit they were bankrolling the team for almost the entire season.

    I say that, not because I am a conspiracy nut, but because the league office has a documented history of not being honest with the media when it suits their needs.

    There just seems to be way too much smoke coming out of the whole thing for my liking….I can only hope this all gets sorted out soon…

    • MJS says:

      All of that’s true, but that doesn’t mean that the league is going to allow the team to go. They have been putting tons of cash into the Coyotes and likely could support another team. If the league was interested in moving the team it would have simply given up and let Balsillie move the Coyotes to Hamilton. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Bettman and Daly had no intention of ever telling anyone that the league had been floating the team along, but their hand was forced by some Moyes/Balsillie trickery. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just is. I mean, they could just be trying to maintain faith in the on ice product when being straight forward with people would’ve driven fans away.

      Even if Ken Campbell was right about the Wilpon connection, or just lucky enough to have that become correct, the “Isles to Canada” rumors have been coming out ever since the Coyotes nonsense started. I think it’s only prudent to wait until some Canadian billionaire not named Balsillie announces that he’s looking into turning the team into the Victoria Islanders to compete in the Vancouver market…

  6. RobJC says:

    The ToH is a sorry state of affairs. Those scoundrels deserve prison time, let alone a storied sports franchise.

  7. Valentino says:

    The Bill Daly and Gary Bettman comment is dead on. You cant trust a single thing that comes out of either of their mouths. Sooner or later, the truth comes out.

    As a fan of 30+ years, I just want whats best for the team. Town and county government are in no rush. There is documented history of that as well. Ultimately it is up to Wang at this point to force the issue. He hasnt gotten a stitch of honesty or transparency from anyone since this process started +/-10 years ago. If Queens is willing to negotiate in a up front and transparent manner, well then wang is already way ahead of where he is now with TOH or Nassau county. Going dark makes no sense to me. Clearly they arent taking him serious. TOH and Nassau county dont feel as if they have any competition. Why not notify them that you are actively negotiating with Queens. Their time of exclusivity has come and gone. Now the onus is on them to top whatever offer your getting from Queens. If they top it, great. If not, then sayonara. Leave em for dead and let them explain their way out of it when tens to hundreds of millions of dollars simply walks away.End of story.

  8. bigaudio says:

    listen, the TofH does not have any money. Our roads are full of potholes unfixed, unemployment is high, taxes are higher still, and corruption is the normal order of business in the TofH, and WE THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE have been asked to foot one too many shitty deals. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We can’t just keep paying money we don’t have on extraneous projects designed to make rich people richer and poor people poorer. It really is that simple. Now, Kate Murray deserves credit for not just cowtowing to whatever the Isles want, but she also deserves abuse for not being up front and honest with the isles over this whole project. So there is plenty of blame to go around. Who is solely to blame is not an accurate query, EVERYONE INVOLVED is to blame for this crap.

    We have plenty of things that need to be fixed in the TofH, like the roads, the poor, the totally biased and messed up tax system, those things need to be addressed before a development deal designed to make a rich guy richer. So maybe the Isles would be better off if they went to Queens. I don’t want them to leave, and i’m not an Islanders fan, i’m in favor of redoing their arena right where it is now, i’d vote for that in a minute, but that is apparently not enough to satisfy the ownership, so maybe they do need to move to Queens to get themselves a better arena. However, just ask the Devils how their attendance has been since THEY got a new building ……. be careful what you wish for …….

    • Nick Giglia says:

      If you complain about the taxpayers footing the bill for the project (which they’re not), and then claim that you’d support just an arena renovation (which by definition would HAVE to be taxpayer-supported), your credibility is even more shot than it was before. Go back to your spoon-fed TOH talking points.

    • RobJC says:

      Wang was dumping money huge amounts of money into this but since Murray played games, creating this bottomless pit, he stopped paying the consultants for research and development. Now who do you think is paying for it and who do you have to thank???Now shes using your tax dollars to make her own plan with her own consultants payed by you, the tax payers. If she wasn’t such a tool and a corrupt pig Wang would still be paying. The worst part it is she hired consultants outside of Long Island. Why wouldn’t she give that business to a Long island company???How the hell can anyone defend these filthy rotten scoundrels???We know she received donations from FB Clark so get off that BS and call Murray and complain to her. This was to be funded privately and now its coming out of your taxes so get on the horn with the powers that be and make then know you aren’t naive and you know what they’re doing instead of just being ignorant.

  9. BDGallof says:

    bigaudio…ToH repeated thing you keep making, well, nobody is buying. LHP was not a taxpaid project…enough is enough on your one-sided debate

  10. valentino says:

    Bigaudio…think before you speak. Get the facts first….then form an opinion on the matter.

  11. valentino says:

    Bigaudio…where do you think your taxes are headed once the islanders leave? How will hempstead fill the void of a hundred million dollars of propery and sales tax?

    your taxes are headed higher…plain and simple

  12. akaodoyle says:

    I’ve seen the denials from Daly. The NHL no longer has a ton of credibility when it comes to these kinds of matters. I believe we all remember the doublespeak coming from league offices last year before the Coyotes situation blew up. The Wang/Wilpon stories are the only thing that makes me believe what Gary’s puppet says at this point. I think the best idea would be to reserve judgment on this, I’m sure there is more to the story.

  13. 19 Isle in NJ 22 says:

    I’m sorry … I just have to echo something hear … Because I keep seeing this falesy repeated not on just this blog … but many others. I know you already addressed this individual BD … but I’m chiming in anyway.

    For those that think Nassau and the TOH will be bankrolling the project …. Welcome to the debate! Where have you been all this time?! First thing’s first… Wang and Rechler are PAYING for this … Isn’t that odd? The owner of a team bankrolling the renovation of an arena that he doesn’t even own? Wow … what a friggen concept.

    That is what makes this whole thing frustrating, and I don’t even live on Long Island. You have an ownership that is willing to bankroll the development of a goverment (Nassau Cty) site. Yet, the smallest branch of goverment involved is in the way (Town).

    The TOH even said that this project will allow them to acquire federal stimulous funds to repair and improve roads. How much of that is true I’m not sure … coming from the town and all.

    That is the nuts and bolts of the debate. Now that “YOU” know the project is privately funded … Go read Nick’s “Lettherebelighthouse.com” blog … He’ll give you a 3 year education on the whole process from all sides.

    Good Luck.

    Sorry BD … just had to do it … You must be tired of responding to that same old ingnorant rant about “Why should the town build a Billionaire an arena?”

  14. bigaudio more like big idiot

  15. Jethro09 says:

    I hope Wang either sells the team to the Wilpons and they move it to a new arena in Willets Point or Wang goes in as a partner with the Wilpons and moves the team himself to Queens. Enough of this Lighthouse nonsense. It will never be approved. Time to move on. If Wang cares about the Isles and making them profitable, his only real option is a move to Queens.

    Even if the Wilpons don’t buy into the team, the Isles would still benefit greatly from a move to Queens. Mass transit and a larger base to solicit corporate sponsorship from. Major professional sports franchises don’t work in the ‘burbs. That’s why the Islanders are the only major sports franchise located in suburbia. Nassau can’t support the Isles any longer. If the Wilpons get invloved, even better. The Isles can leave MSG Network when their contract expires, go to SNY and be the featured programming during the winter months.

    A move to Queens is a total win for the Islanders. I hope it happens. The TOH could care less if the team stays and doesn’t deserve the benefit they receive from having the Isles there after jerking the Isles and Wang off all these years.

  16. YESSSSS says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=322173

    Might want to read this…

  17. Isle27 says:

    Trip to China canceled it’s Murray’s fault, no wait it’s D’Amato’s fault, hell let’s blame the entire Nassau County GOP but whomever you blame don’t blame Wang for this new debacle.

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