The future of the New York Islanders was put to a vote on Monday and the people have spoken: they’re not willing to subsidize a hockey team or… they just don’t give a shit. A turnout of Nassau County voters that was referred to as “abysmally low” rejected the proposed $400 million funding plan for a new multi-purpose arena, effectively putting the long-term future of the Islanders in Nassau into a state of a doubt.
In the end, Charles Wang was defeated. Wang’s lengthy quest to construct a new arena for the Islanders was shut down by a final tally of 57 percent ‘no’ to 43 percent ‘yes’ after 82% of ballots had been counted, according to the New York Times. It would appear as though asking tax payers to fund a $400 million arena during times of economic uncertainty was too tall a task for Wang and co. For the crop of Islanders fans that were prepared for the worst… this is it.
Reaction from Wang, via New York Islanders official site:
I’m heartbroken that this was not passed. We’re disappointed that the referendum pertaining to the arena was not voted by the people of Nassau County as being a move in the right direction for growth. I feel that the sound bites ruled the day and not the facts. Right now, it’s an emotional time and we’re not going to make any comments on any specific next steps.
We’re committed to the Nassau Coliseum until the year 2015 and like we’ve said all along, we will honor our lease.
Now we will play the wait and see game with the Islanders. Wang could explore options for moving the franchise, or wash his hands clean by selling the team. His plans for a new arena may not be dead, but they’re left gasping for air after Monday’s referendum.
Details on Brent Burns’ extension
Brent Burns’ five-year, $28.8 million contract extension with the San Jose Sharks includes a limited no-trade clause, as reported by David Pollak at Working the Corners.
Doug Wilson on the deal, via Mark Emmons at Working the Corners:
“There was a level of risk at this. Supply and demand dictates that defensemen always are going to get their money and terms. But we know this is a guy who loves to play the game, wants to compete and wants to win. We thought we would be a good fit for him. From Day One, signing him was our ultimate goal. And for him to agree to this kind of contract, I can’t compliment Brent enough for him stepping up and being a great teammate.”
Frolov says Russian interview misquoted him on Avery
Former NHLer Alex Frolov caused quite a stir (or did he?) on Monday when a Russian interview surfaced that supposedly quoted him as saying Sean Avery used racial slurs on the ice. The initial report (translated) had Frolov saying that Avery used to call opponents “black monkeys” on the ice.
Frolov later offered some clarificiation, via the New York Daily News:
“I didn’t say anything about Aves calling someone bad language – I was saying he’s really emotional and that in the past he could say the wrong thing. It wasn’t particularly about black people. He doesn’t have anything against black people. I mean, he’s a nice person, and he wouldn’t say something bad about black people or Asian people or any kind of people. It’s some kind of misunderstanding.”
“I never heard him call anyone anything like that. Russian journalists, they were asking about him, and sometimes he could say something stupid, especially in the past. He’s not a bad person. He’s a good guy. … I didn’t try to say anything bad about Aves or say that he was trying to say something bad about anyone else.”
Chelios heads class of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees
On Sept. 14, 1996, the United States defeated Canada in the third and deciding game of inaugural World Cup of Hockey at Molson Centre in Montreal. Like the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” team was an influence on the members of ’96 U.S. World Cup team, the 2011 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees — all connected to that team from 15 years ago — played a huge part in continuing the growth of American hockey.
The 2011 inductees announced today are NBC broadcaster Mike Emrick, Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider and former NHLers Chris Chelios, Gary Suter, and Keith Tkachuk. Emrick is the first media member to be inducted. A formal ceremony will be held this fall in Chicago.
Chelios and Suter manned the U.S. blueline, while Tkachuk potted five goals during ’96 tournament. Snider hosted the preliminary round matchup, as well as Game 1 of the championships series between the USA and Canada in 1996 at the Flyers’ home at the then-CoreStates Center. Emrick was, of course, behind the mic calling the Americans road to victory.
Lamoriello calls decision to waive White “difficult”
Hey look, Lou Lamoriello has real person feelings:
“This is a hockey and business decision. Absolutely, this is most difficult. I’ve had Colin since he was 17. We’ve had a friendship. But you have to be able to separate that from the business side.”
“This was not a surprise. This is no different than (parting ways with) Bruce Driver, or John MacLean, or any other of our long-time players in the past.”
The overrated value of a faceoff
Over at the Nation network, Cam Charron takes a look at the notion of big faceoff wins with a critical eye. I’m not disagreeing with the work here, but I’m pretty sure the advanced stat set is getting close to declaring goals overrated.
Highs and lows for Marc Savard
Bruins’ blog Stanley Cup of Chowder checks in on reality and wonders if Marc Savard’s career could be coming to an end. Meanwhile, Savard enjoys his day with the Stanley Cup: