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.
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.