New York Islanders Owners are on the Clock

Come July 1st the New York Islanders organization begins a new chapter. Majority ownership transfers from Charles Wang to Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky. With such an important and busy offseason ahead the New York Islanders owners are on the clock.

Thank You Charles Wang

Islander fans owe everything to Charles Wang. Yes there have been missteps and big mistakes during his tenure. But make no mistake about it, the New York Islanders would have moved to Quebec City or Kansas City or to Las Vegas already if it wasn’t for Charles Wang.

Wang couldn’t achieve his ultimate goal which was to build a state-of-the-art arena on Long Island, as the Islanders new home. He did accomplish keeping the Islanders as close to Long Island as possible by agreeing with the Barclays Center on a deal. I know the situation isn’t perfect but at the end of the day Charles Wang saved the Islanders. All Islander fans owe him a “Yes Yes Yes” chant.

Scott Malkin & Jonathan Ledecky

Malkin and Ledecky purchased the Islanders from Charles Wang in August of 2014 for $485 million dollars. The agreement was that Charles Wang would retain majority control until June 30th of this year. Come July 1st there will be new bosses for the team that plays in Brooklyn and practices on Long Island.

Malkin is a London-based investor who has a very successful company called Value Retail. In addition he is the chairman of Malkin Holdings which is a major player in the New York City real estate market. The Malkin family has a controlling interest in the Empire State Building. Jonathan Ledecky is a former minority owner of the Washington Capitals (nearly 25%). Ledecky formed US Office Products. Malkin and Ledecky were roommates when they both attended Harvard University. Their relationship goes back several years.

General Manager Garth Snow has the Islanders organization in great position. This franchise is currently very deep in talent from the main roster to their prospects knocking on the door. The mission of Malkin and Ledecky has to be to take the Islanders from a real good team to a Stanley Cup contender. We have seen that dedication already. In 2015 the Islanders locked up Johnny Boychuk (pending unrestricted free agent) and Nick Leddy (pending restricted free agent) to new 7-year deals. Even though, technically. both Malkin and Ledecky were minority owners at the time, there is no way those deals would have been done without their approval.

There is a lot on the new owners plate from the get go. This is one of the biggest off-seasons for the franchise in quite some time with key free agents and various options both on the trade and free agent market. Malkin and Ledecky need to continue to find ways to improve the transition for their fan base from the Nassau Coliseum to the Barclays Center. In addition they need to improve upon the team’s attendance especially during the first half of the season. There is a lot of work ahead for the new duo who now run the Islanders. But make no mistake about it Islander fans, the franchise is now in the hands of two very smart and dedicated people.