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05-29-2012, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Twine Seeking Missle View Post
You just don't get it.

Bettman has been all about expanding into the sun-belt since he took office. His goal was to grow the sport across the entire country and to do that, he had to put teams in non-traditional markets. Now, there isn't a region in the country without NHL hockey.

The Coyotes have a sparkling new building built specifically for them. The Islanders play in an absolute dump... and I am being kind when I say that. The Coyotes are the only NHL team within a 350 mile radius. The Islanders are one of three teams in an oversaturated 30 mile radius.

Possible arguments...

Stanley Cups? Who gives a ****. Those were 30 years ago. A lot has changed between 1983 and 2012. Both with the Islanders franchise and the landscape of the NHL. Point being, a suburban based team could work in 1983. Not now.

Cable contract? Don't make me laugh. Every time someone brings this up as a reason the Islanders can't leave I just shake my head. Contracts can be broken/paid off rather easily. If whoever bought the team wanted to move it to Quebec/Seattle/wherever bad enough, a TV contract wouldn't get in the way and it's silly to think otherwise.
Someone doesn't get it, that's for sure.

The issue isn't breaking the contract. The suits at MSG would dance a jig if they could get out from under that. The issue is that the contract can't be replaced. It doesn't generate as much as Toronto or NYR, but after that, it's at or near the top of the league. No matter how good an arena deal you get elsewhere, that's a huge revenue hole you create by moving. There isn't a market anywhere where the deal's value, some $500 million between now and 2031, can be made up. Whomever buys the team to move them is going to have to pay Wang for that, then put a match to it because it becomes instantly worthless.

Without the TV deal, and without the value of the NY market, the Islanders, to be honest, aren't worth very much. Throw in the relocation fees that the league is now demanding ($70 million in the case of the Thrashers -- and that sale flies right in the face of your entire argument, by the way), and the value of buying the team to move them elsewhere becomes almost non-existent. It would require Wang to either take a total hosing on the sale, or a buyer so desperate for a franchise to pay 200 percent or more of its actual value (without the cable deal and the NY market). Could it happen? Sure. Is it likely? Not so much.

Don't know how it will play out, but with Barclays available (no matter how an imperfect solution it is), the odds are far higher that the team is staying local.

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