RUMOR: Charles Wang Looking to Sell?


Funny thing happened on last night’s HNIC telecast…they had a quick blurb on that Charles Wang was fed-up with the Lighthouse situation and was looking to sell the team.

Funny…in that all the way back in Feb 09 I had a piece on just that scenario as Charles Wang was meeting one potential buyer at Gary Bettman’s behest. However, nothing really came of it. Or was it just due diligence and a far-envisioning Bettman forseeing the mess that would come between what Nick Giglia aptly terms: an unstoppable force hitting an immovable object.

Some Isles bloggers seemed to be in a panic last few months pushing fans to Queens, Brooklyn, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, and of this late date…maybe now Nassau again. Talk about hedging your bets.


“And with each week, Queens becomes a more realistic, attractive option. Did you know there is a Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in Flushing? Did you know Wang’s family moved to Queens when…” One blogger on 3/23/09

Oh boy. No wonder Islander fans have been in a tizzy. This spurred on push has been going on for months…so much it has left many of a fan base confused/irate or like lemmings waiting for the next rumor. Everyone seems to have a lot of guesses. But no solutions. Plying another area IS NOT a solution. Especially when they are reticent to actually going into the negatives of each area. Instead it has been up to others to remind that Brooklyn, Queens and Suffolk are not easy places, and are rife with their own issues. We all want an easy solution…just aren’t any.

If these were truly solutions offered, then it is on those same bloggers to divvy into the real issues of that area as well. The fact they many do not is not quite responsible and smacks of agenda to this blogger.

It seems at times that some in the blogosphere and mainstream press prefer the Isles faithful confused, by changing gears so often. That and citing perhaps only half a story.  Is this for more readers or paper sales? Add whit the media blackout by the Lighthouse Development Group, and all we are left with is rumor, innuendo and a state of fear for the hard trudging fan who was called for service earlier this summer.

If we flash back to the very start of this ridiculous slew of events, we’d come across the Kansas City rumor. The Isles moving out of this area was never going to happen, despite words otherwise… KC was never EVER a reality. Anyone who read my blogs on the subject would know it was a pile of crap from the very start. Err…the rumor, not my blog.

Not to tout my own horn too much, but the my take on KC proved a reality when Charles Wang admitted that they were never going to KC when they met with the Nassau County Legislature mid-summer.

Though that rumor as dumb and far-fetched as it was still grabbed up by Newsday for a whole series of articles….on a subject that was never going to happen.

BLOGGER NOTE: If we look back over the course of the year, Newsday has eaten humble pie for just about everything. To the ridiculous KC rumor they ate up, to the Queens/Brooklyn spin, to god knows what else. They even bit on the Matt Duchene rumor which was an obvious phantom ploy by the Isles who had decided extremely early who their pick was.Sadly, Logan took the fall. But who takes the fall for the slew of erroneous, ill-found, slanted Hempstead work, and non-reported issues Newsday has done over the year?

As I said on radio, blog, and anywhere else, the NHL will NOT let a cup-winning, much less, dynasty team from a lucrative market move outside the region.They already looked weak with the Phoenix fiasco, where they had to change their plans to do the draft there to show their power, to now LA.

Ok, not outside…but what about Queens, Brooklyn and other areas within the NY area. Well, there is something there once Nassau is closed out.

The reason Queens has moved to the wayside in the rumor-mill is due to that the Isles would be 1 of over 29 possible suitors. That’s not good odds, thus Fans and Bloggers Who Cry Queens has moved away from citing Queens as a rumor anymore, and now is the Fans & Bloggers Who Cry Brooklyn.

Brooklyn? Sure. Right. Yeah.

Most already know my take on the place. To me,  it is just another apple thrown in front of Isles fans by the stick of the same ilk.

Wang would never be a tenant … much less to a guy he hates. Ratner torpedoed his NJ Nets dream and two-team Coliseum move that would have made things a lot smoother for his Lighthouse Project. But now we are supposed to think the Isles will be retro-fitted possibly in Brooklyn thanks to some innocuous text?

Way too many are retro-fitting Brooklyn to fit the Isles.

If Wang would sell to the Russian billionaire…sure. THEN there are legs to it. I’ll give it that.

But last night, in the vacuum of lack-of-info came the HNIC rumor of possibly selling. Very strange.

This was a rumor way back from Eklund of all people that Wang was considering selling the team. Of course, that led to a bitch-slapping fest between him and Chris Botta…”protector of the Isles” who was conveniently  also receiving a severance check from that very team at the time.

Or, as Chris Botta immediately responded from his own vacation in a cantankerous mood as if he was Christain Bale on a movie set. He insinuated that Eklund launched a rumor capitalizing from a large long island readership on Hockeybuzz and because his Bottaness was out of the country.

Will Charles Wang sell the Isles? Well, more on that later…

The bigger issue is that people need to stop trying to be the hero to guessing the results on all this and start actually reporting from both sides of the issue. If people are just going to hedge bets and try to remind us they had it back when with the ten thousand other guesses they made, they are wasting time, effort, and should try a new field of work.

Nassau: make no bones about it. IT is in trouble right now. Wang says he’s done and waiting for a vote. However according to the ToH, the LHP is supposed to supply information to them. Between the two sides there is now a lot of bad blood over the hullabaloo that has gone on all the way since Feb of this year.

So is Wang ready to sell? Who knows. So much games have been played by both sides, the only thing that is clear is the deep divide and the unwillingness by both sides to reach any kind of flexible compromise.

If Wang is to sell, can someone like Scott Rechler take over…a man who the ToH has made many a comment on being far more reasonable, respectable and knowing how to play this game? Or does anyone want to buy-in to a team clearly on the rise, but with a horrendous venue that leaks cash, and deal with the entrenched political system that has left the Coliseum and area in disarray for years and years.

Guess there is a sucker born every minute. After all, D’Amato got Charles Wang to buy the Islanders in the first place.

Anything is possible, but the stare-down between the LHP and ToH needs some smarts, not political and public relations shellac. Meanwhile, Edward Mangano has yet to take over as Nassau Exec, yet has his coffers padded by many developers who seem to be positioning themselves for Charles Wang’s failure in Nassau County. That is a sour feeling as we go into a holiday season with not much clarity and a hell of a lot of confusion.

BUT, if he does…do we open up Pandoras Box on Long Island once again? NY islanders can pin a lot of their woes in the last 15 years not only on a horrendous GM, but also a mess of ownership.

To me, this project is about Charles Wang’s legacy…just as buying the Isles in the first place was to lay foundation for that purpose. I don’t see him selling until he FORCES the ToH’s hand to vote NO. Or until the new year when Mangano and the Republicans take over.

Just my humble opinion. And yes, it does go against we we have heard from others. I am complained to them privately and publicly that they are telling only half a story. The answer I was given was some passive/aggressive veiled threat  and they didn’t care since they have a large size of audience. No answer I will accept.

- BD

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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,, 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

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BDGallof, Alex Becker. Alex Becker said: RT @BDGallof: RUMOR: Charles Wang Looking to Sell? #isles #nhl #lhp [...]

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  3. nyichamp39 says:

    Hey BD Ive been a fan of your articles for a while. Started reading when you were with Hockeybuzz. Always loved the creativity and the back and forth rants between you and your brother for the Isles/Rangers games. However, I just gotta come out here and say I really dont like this article at all. It just seems like a slam fest of Chris Botta. I know you guys are in the same profession and all, but I dont think anyone has done more for the Islanders exposure to the media and the world of hockey over the past year than Chris has. As an avid reader of this site just thought Id let you know Id much rather read your thoughts and predictions on the lighthouse than hear you bash on one of the very few writers left with in-depth and insightful info on the Isles.

  4. Kevin says:

    I agree nyichamp.  What is with putting blogger is quotations?  Just because you and Botta have different opinions on the Queens and Brooklyn scenario’s doesn’t mean you need to bash him.  At least Botta is giving solutions.  You are just saying no to everything.  You say the Isles are NOT leaving the NY area.  Then you say they are NOT going to Brooklyn or Queens and the the Lighthouse is not looking good at this point.  Where else is there to go?  What your end game here?  Or are you just like the Republicans and say “no” to everything and not give any solutions of your own?

  5. Fred Poulin says:

    It’s because the Islanders will be moved to Quebec City :-)

  6. BDGallof says:

    The blog speaks for itself. Any criticism heaped in any direction is well-deserved.

  7. bigaudio says:

    the republicans ran this town and county into financial ruin the last time they were in control, with graft, behind-closed-doors dealings, political nepotism, you name it the republicans did it, and it’s taken years to scramble to get to the point we are today.  Putting republicans back in charge will only make WE the RESIDENTS even more wary of any kind of possible deal for the arena and the area.  Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it ………..

  8. JPinVA says:

    I’m a huge fan of Botta and NYIPB , but I think you are correct here. For all the work Chris has done in promoting the LHP, now that it is on the ropes he has let it lie dormant. There are so many questions.
    Why has Wang NEVER tried to work D’Amato(SMG legal advisor and, I think, board member) and SMG into easing the pressure from the lease agreement? This just wreaks of collusion.
    The NVMC just doesn’t work without mass transit. Why won’t anybody just come out and say it. It hasn’t in 30 years, why would a facelift make that much of a difference. Not only for the Islanders, but for all possible permanent and temporary tenants.
    Why don’t the people of Nassau county move against SMG the way they have lobbied Kate Murry in Hempstead. Botta was instrumental in mobilizing the anti-Murray sentiment, but never even brings up the fact that the coliseum is falling apart and SMG does nothing to help its tenant. SMG doesn’t own the NVMC or the land it sits on, the people of Nassau County do. There needs to be an investigation as to the relationship between Wang, D’Amato and where the money collected by SMG actually goes. I suspect it goes right back into Wang’s pocket.
    Gutkowski was perched to fight the lease, Gluckstern did… why won’t Wang?

  9. Nick Giglia says:

    I don’t think anyone here is trying to say Chris Botta is a bad person or a bad influence on the team or its fan base.  What BD is saying, and what I think the history has shown, is that he has at times been inconsistent in his writings.  BD and I have both been consistent in our belief that something will get done on the Coliseum site, and I don’t think either of us has ever come out and said that other options in the area will definitely not happen (though I will say this: Suffolk County will almost certainly not happen because it’s by far the worst option).
    Many fans want this to end – and you know what, I want it to end too.  However, it’s wrong to peddle Brooklyn or Queens as an “easy” solution when there are problems with either.  That’s all we’re trying to do – point out all sides of this equation and explain that, while we all wish there could be an easy solution, there will not be one for this problem.

  10. BDGallof says:

    I should add here that Botta is a tremendous blogger with a massive rolodex from years of being in the center of the storm. However, I feel personally that his LHP coverage has been flakey, hommerific and offbase at times. . Just my personal feeling on it, and i know others share it.

    we don’t expect perfection, but he got pissy with me when it was cited.


    nor am i perfect. far from it. but if you read my earliest blogs on this subject till now, i have been steadfast and solid in my footing. Nick has too, which is why i love his work.

    i don’t believe many others have been at all…and none will fess up here. some ego thing? or at worse, a pro-Wang agenda? maybe some favors owed to the guy who paid his bill for over a year and a half?

    If you read back from his blogs on the subject, you will see what I am saying. If you don’t, and you think that somehow he or others carve the 10 commandments…well, then you are a fool.

  11. BDGallof says:

    notice how nobody disagrees with the Newsday sentiment, btw. LOL

  12. Kevin says:

    Newsday?  I didn’t even know they were still a paper!
    That paper is the biggest joke around.  Too bad too cause Katie Strang does a great job.   Too bad no one gets to see her work unless they subscribe to the paper.

  13. BDGallof says:

    While on subject:

    Yes, and as I slag Newsday to the hilt, I have nothing but the utmost respect for Greg Logan who was not the most tech savvy, but hell, he was old school journalist who did the hard work and got under the Isles skin…which is what a beat writer should do with a heavily secretive staff and organization.

    Katie Strang has always been good, and is doing a great job. Sadly, behind a paywall.

    Never had any issue with either.

  14. Carmine says:

    Um, just an FYI, ah, Ratner & Charles are very friendly.  I’m not sure where you are getting this info that hate each other.   

  15. Jason says:

    I just hope when all these prospect get better and we have a good team they are still here.

  16. IsleofNJ says:

    The reason the deal has not been done is that the Lighthouse Project refuses to put in a “Hostess Snack Outlet” and name it in honor of Kate Murray.

    Seriously, she is absolutely horrible.

  17. KO21 says:

    Holy crap!!! I cant even post under KO21 or IslesPassion21 because I always challenge him on these same exact points…Now hes on there bashing Wang and the Isles about tix prices…I don’t disagree with him that Wang needs to show some more class but he writes allot of negative pieces on the franchise since they dropped him from there sponsorships…The Isles fans are starved for anything postive but you give us something negitive we will bitch and complain and post on his site… He leaves fans with cliff hangers to get all worked up about so they keep going to his blog…He doesnt need to do that for attention…Just be honest and forth right….
    Now im going back to lmao listening to the History or Howard Stern Part 3…Merry Christmas everyone!

  18. BDGallof says:

    Holy christ. I agree, spambot!

  19. [...] mtlb wrote an interesting post today on&nbsp Here’s a quick excerpt &nbspAbout the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He is also one of the charter members of the NY Islander’s Blog Box program. He was the NY Islanders blogger for from 2007 till the beginning of 2009 … [...]

  20. jpwjr1199 says:

    I know that this was written way back in December. I love this piece and agree with most of what is said. I think the spirit of the piece is the mostful helpful thing to an Islanders’ fan I have read in some time; however, I do want to point out one critical thing that either was unknown back in December or overlooked.
    Wang and Suozzi, just before he left office, agreed to a sub-lease that allows Wang all of the revenue streams from ALL events at the NVMC, such as parking, concessions, ticket sales, etc. Wang is no sucker, believe me! A shady, arrogant dude, maybe, but in no way a sucker.

    Additionally, Wang cooked the books at CA. It is fairly widely known that the Isles are, ahem, creative in the way they have audited their books in the past, as well from the days of Skehan. The Isles actually exist as two entities: NYI LLC. and Nassau Sports LLC. The former is the franchise, the latter is the cable/TV. Therefore, although Wang probably was in the red for the first six or seven years of his ownership, his losses have likely been exagerated. Furthermore, a financial loss of a few mill. for Charles Wang is a helluva different for him (tax write-off) than it would be for you and me (out on the street).

    Just want to add to the perspective of the article.

  21. BDGallof says:


    Very interesting. Drop me a line at Would love to chat further on it. You might want to read through all the other various stuff about Charles, Lighthouse and the
    Isles over the course of the year, as well.