Islanders Blog: Wang Isn’t Wrong

By Nick Colombo
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After my last blog defending Islanders owner Charles Wang, I received quite a bit of mail from angry Islanders fans. Their gripes with Wang were all quite similar and were echoed by a column Larry Brooks wrote in the New York Post on Sunday. Brooks took the Islanders owner to task saying:

“It is impossible to determine what the endgame here is for Wang. It can’t be to simply run out the clock over the next four years while further gutting the franchise’s infrastructure. If that truly is the objective, if the owner simply intends to devalue the franchise to the extent no one else would even consider buying it to keep in this area, then it is time for the commissioner to step in, exert his authority and save the Islanders from the crypt-keeper… Wang’s profound neglect is intolerable.”

I can’t say I disagree with the frustration. It’s not fun for anybody as the franchise spins out of control like a carnival ride operated by a high school dropout. However, I still contend that demonizing Charles Wang is not the answer. In his time as owner of this franchise he has done nothing but invest his own money and attempt to make the Islanders into a winning franchise. His recent lack of devotion to making the Islanders better is not mismanagement, stupidity, or a lack of caring. IT’S ECONOMICS!

I don’t care whether you love or hate the Lighthouse Project, the fact is the politicians of Long Island have screwed over Wang and the Islanders. Some politicians led Wang along believing the Lighthouse would be built, detractors offered no plausible alternative, and until last year no one saw fit to alter the lease which was killing the Isles financially.

What logical person would continue to waste money on a hopeless business venture? The message to Wang from Long Island politicians is clear. We don’t care and we don’t want you here. Thus, Wang is making the logical economic decision to cut costs and lose as little as possible until he can get the hell out. That’s the reason why Commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t trying to force Wang out as Larry Brooks suggested he should. Because he too knows the political situation is hopeless.

So yes Larry, running out the clock for the next four years is the plan. You and everyone else can protest all you want because it’s not your money being flushed down the tubes, but I guarantee if it was your money being spent in a hopeless situation you’d think about it a little differently.

Until next time, send me your passionate questions and comments at

pixy Islanders Blog: Wang Isnt Wrong
  • jaded

    If it means my taxes are going to go up, they can move to Kansas.

  • islander1

    Umm so Nick, Season Ticket holders – they aren’t spending any money?

    I forgot, we go to all these games for a price that represents the talent and financial investment on the ice.
    Oh wait, we actually have to pay MORE for tickets this year then last, to watch AHL caliber players like PA Parentau pollute our first line.

    Sorry, but the answer is offloading the team now. He’s losing money one way or the other, and at this point, there’s no reason to follow the NHL at all.

  • hextall72

    Hey nick, instead of praising charles wang for supposedly investing money into the franchise, why not look at where he DIDN”T invest money…
    First and foremost, before any arena or LH project was on his mind, his investments should have been allocated to hire competent hockey people to run hockey operations, (president, gm, asst. gm, head coach and such).. Why weren’t those his priorities? You obviously don’t know charles wang well enough.. Go ask his former employees and partners over at CA how charles ran things…
    Do your homework next time..

  • steve

    Bring back Spano, he tried to spend money even though he didn’t have any!!

  • John

    Sad to say but in this day and age a publicly funded arena that a team owner profits from will just not happen. It is also easy to see why they shot down Wang with his project, it was HUGE, not needed and only benefited one person and that was Wang. He never once wanted to adjust the plan it was all or nothing for him and as such has gotten himself into the current situation. Sadly he was trying to use a hockey team as the means to make him money through a HUGE project like the light house. Yes they are in a dump, yes they are a AHL team at best right now, but he can not say he is not making money due to the arena, his fans would attend any arena if the product on the ice was special. His product on the ice would also give him better leverage to build a new arena and a super city next to it.

  • Steven

    I agree that the Long Island politicians, especially Kate Murray should be tarred and feathered for their stance towards development of the Hempstead area. Clearly they do not care about their constituants. However, you cannot claim you are not making money and the franchise is not viable and blame it on the politicians when you are selling seats for $170 a piece for a product that is not worth the price of parking.

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