Charles Wang sells Islanders, retains majority stake for two-year transition

Rory Boylen
Charles Wang

The New York Islanders have picked up Malkin!

Or more accurately, Malkin has picked up the Islanders.

The New York Islanders have announced a new ownership structure for the team, after former Washington Capitals co-owner Jonathan Ledecky and London-based investor Scott Malkin purchased a “substantial” minority interest in the team.

From the Islanders:

Under the terms of the agreement, Charles Wang will continue as majority shareholder and Governor of the Islanders, with the Ledecky/Malkin group transitioning to majority owner in two years. Read more

Report: Islanders owner Charles Wang facing $10 million lawsuit for backing out of $420 million sale

Rory Boylen
Charles Wang

In terms of the on-ice product, it’s been a pretty optimistic summer for the New York Islanders. And that’s saying something.

Motivated by the fact their first round pick in next summer’s Connor McDavid draft is owned by the Buffalo Sabres, the Islanders were fairly aggressively trying to improve this off-season. They acquired and signed Jaroslav Halak, giving them a statistically solid NHL starter for the first time in a long, long time. They signed Mikhail Grabovski for about market value, and though he comes with a little too much baggage for some, his possession stats are favorable and he should provide improvement on the second, or third, line, which the Islanders desperately needed. They still don’t have Andrew MacDonald on the blueline (phew) and fans are eager to see what more John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey can do, to say nothing of potential 2014-15 full-timers Ryan Strome and Griffin Reinhart.

But with the Islanders, there’s always something looming in the background. No, we’re not talking about their move to Brooklyn after next season. We’re talking about ownership and a lawsuit.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, Islanders owner Charles Wang is being sued by Philadelphia hedge-fund manager Andrew Barroway for $10 million after Wang backed out of a deal to sell the franchise for $420 million.

The suit alleges Steve Ballmer’s purchase of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion influenced the potential Islanders sale. Read more

Isles’ Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin cool down hilariously for charity

Adam Proteau
Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin

In their years as Toronto Maple Leafs teammates, Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin became close friends – and now that they’re playing for the New York Islanders, they’re showing their sense of humor for a great cause.

In this brief video, Kulemin accepts the “ice bucket challenge” – part of a campaign to raise awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease – by dumping a pail of freezing water over his head. But when he’s done…well, watch the video and see what happens: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Where will Dustin Penner & Michael Del Zotto land?

Dustin Penner

As the NHL off-season drags on, former New York Rangers and Nashville Predators defenseman Michael Del Zotto remains unsigned.

Only 24, Del Zotto is just two years removed from a 41-point performance with the Rangers in 2011-12. Unfortunately, his stock tumbled significantly last season, largely because of his poor play in his own zone.

Recent speculation linking Del Zotto to the Vancouver Canucks was denied by his agent, who claims there’s “no chance” his client ends up with the Canucks. It’s been rumored the Detroit Red Wings could have interest, but he’s a left-handed shot and the Wings seek a right-shooting blueliner.

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks cited an NHL club claiming Del Zotto’s reputation was “in tatters.” He believes now is the right time to “buy low” on the young rearguard and wonders why the New York Islanders haven’t pursued him. Read more

The five most evil hockey photoshops we could come up with


Summer is a time for fun in the hockey world. But sometimes that fun can be a little dark. One of my favorite THN issues every year comes before the trade deadline, when we often take a player likely on the move and photoshop him into another team’s uniform based on his possible destination. For instance, we once had Mats Sundin in a Vancouver sweater – the team he would eventually leave the Leafs for, albeit not at the deadline.

With that in mind, I dare you to peruse the five photoshops here, which can only be characterized as wrong.

Above, we see what would happen if Boston’s Milan Lucic had a change of heart and joined Montreal, where he could celebrate goals with current enemy Alexei Emelin. With a special thanks to Andre Valle of the The Hockey News art team (who did all the hard work), here are more of the worst offenders we came up with.

Read more

NHL logo rankings No. 25: New York Islanders

Ryan Kennedy
Islanders Logo (via

Debuting in the 1972-73 season, the New York Islanders were created in part to stymie the fledgling WHA from getting a foothold in the area. The team was quickly built the right way and within six years, the Long Island franchise undertook a run of four straight Stanley Cup titles thanks to legends such as Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin and Bryan Trottier, among others.

For most of the franchise’s history, the team has gone with a blue and orange logo featuring a stylized “NY” and the world “Islanders” with a map of Long Island in the middle. Except for one radically different crest, of course, that has drawn derision as one of the worst logos in the history of the game. But the Isles went back to their roots soon after and even with the team moving to Brooklyn soon, they can still use the same look – they just might need to shift the map a little to the east.

But despite the strong color scheme and the simplicity of the Isles’ logo, our THN panel was unimpressed, ranking it among the poorest. Think you can top the real thing? Send your best Islanders logo creation to Toss out the official colors if you’d like and start from scratch; we want the coolest and most creative you can come up with. Or, take a shot at some of the other NHL franchises we’ve already ranked.

History of Islanders Logo

As detailed in the book Fish Sticks: The fall and rise of the New York Islanders, the original crest was designed by John Alogna, who owned a local ad agency at the time. The colors reflected that of Nassau County itself and Alogna was given three days to come up with something after previous efforts had fallen through.

(All logos below are from Chris Creamer’s website.)

That logo stood until June of 1995, when an urge to do something fresh led New York to a revamp that, well, didn’t go over so nice. From Fish Sticks, quoting Robert Rosenthal, part of the franchise’s management team at the time:

“As the team continued to lose, fans needed something to cling to and homed in on the logo,” Rosenthal said. “We began to realize it was not dying down. In the final analysis, we didn’t want our fans or players to be subjected to ridicule for something other than our play.” Read more

The NHL’s weakest division? Um, “congratulations”, Metro

Marc-Andre Fleury

When the NHL made its most recent realignment, last season, it reemphasized the importance of divisional play by also restructuring its playoff format. The wild card element throws a bit of a wrench into it from year-to-year, but for the most part, teams have to play their first two playoff rounds against division rivals – and that means a weaker division has the potential to make the road to the Stanley Cup easier for the team that can emerge from it.

I’d argue that’s one of the reasons the New York Rangers qualified for the Cup Final this past spring. They faced a flawed Flyers team in the first round and a Penguins squad in the second that had serious issues of its own before they beat the injury-depleted Canadiens in the Eastern Conference final. You have to give the Blueshirts credit for their resilience, but they had a much easier go of it than, say, Los Angeles or Chicago.

So which division is shaping up to be the NHL’s weakest in 2014-15? It’s not in the Western Conference, that’s for sure. Six of the Central Division’s seven teams (every one but Winnipeg) have a bona fide shot at making the playoffs, and the California Trinity Of Doom, combined with the desperation to make the playoffs in Vancouver and Edmonton, makes the Pacific Division daunting as well.

So, the “honor” of the league’s worst division has to go to either the Metropolitan or the Atlantic. And although the Atlantic has seen more separation between the haves and have-nots of its teams this off-season, I’d still make the case the Metro is the weaker of the two. Read more

These 23 players can go to arbitration, if they’re not signed to extensions first


The NHL’s arbitration process is scheduled to begin later this month. Twenty NHL players have filed for arbitration, while three players were taken to arbitration by their teams. Usually, these contracts are settled before the team and player have to face off in front of an arbiter, so expect most, or all, of these to be settled before the process begins.

Arbitration cases will be heard between July 20 and August 5. Here are the eligible players:

Arizona Coyotes
Brandon McMillan - A third round pick by Anaheim in 2008, McMillan played 22 games with the Coyotes in 2013-14, scoring two goals and six points. He also played 46 games with the american League’s Portland Pirates, scoring 11 goals and 26 points. The 5-foot-11 winger was acquired by the Coyotes last year in a trade that sent Matt Lombardi to the Ducks.

Boston Bruins
Matt Bartkowski - A seventh round pick by Florida in 2008, Bartkowski averaged the fourth-most minutes among Bruins defensemen in 2013-14 and scored 18 assists. He was acquired by Boston in what turned out to be an awful trade for Florida, which sent Bartkowski and Dennis Seidenberg to the Bruins for not much at all. Bartkowski has emerged as a physical defensive blueliner who fits in nicely with Boston’s brawny way. Read more