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Islanders Arena

In the NY Times, Jeff Klein writes that the Rangers shouldn't feel threatened by the Islanders move to Brooklyn and their new proximity to Madison Square Garden.

Klein writes that "The Rangers? loyal season-ticket base stretches back half a century, and the legions of fans who navigate horrendous traffic on the Long Island Expressway three times each season to invade Nassau Coliseum undoubtedly are ecstatic, knowing that the Barclays Center is a few subway stops away."

He spoke with former Ranger and current Islander assistant coach and executive Doug Weight who said that he remembers his first Rangers/Islanders game and how it included seven fights in the stands. He added that the rivalry is something is passed down from generation to generation and won't change with the Isles move.

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At Newsday, Neil Best spoke with Hank Ratner who said that the Rangers are happy with the Islanders move to Brooklyn and keeping them in the marketplace.

"We've had a great relationship with the Islanders for probably 40 years now; we expect that to continue. We've got a great rivalry on the ice. We expect that to continue as it has in the past. We wish them all the success.''

The Islanders already had the Rangers permission to move to Brooklyn.

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The New York Post reports that Pat LaFontaine has been contacted by some European investors who are interested in buying the Islanders and keeping them on Long Island.

The Post says that Islanders owner Charles Wang is willing to sell the team, for the right price, and that price may be $300 million.

Wang is reportedly losing $40 million a year with the Islanders and in a 2009 interview he said the he was losing between $20 and $30 million annually.

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In the NY Daily News, Bruce Ratner, the developer of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, said that he is "trying like hell" to have the Islanders call the arena in Brooklyn their home.

Nets CEO Brett Yormak has said "We are interested in bringing NHL hockey to Brooklyn. We feel very strongly about Brooklyn as a hockey market and know we can accommodate it from a building perspective."

[polldaddy poll=6394429]

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In the Sports Business Journal, Chris Botta writes about the chances of the Islanders moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn when their lease expires at the Nassau Coliseum in 2015.

Botta writes that Gary Bettman still thinks a deal could be made somewhere on Long Island and that Charles Wang is waiting to hear about potential options in Queens or in Suffolk County.

On adding the Islanders to Brooklyn, Nets CEO Brett Yormark said:

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes "The ultimate referendum on the Islanders will be the one-man vote cast by?John Tavares?when it comes to deciding whether to re-up long-term upon conclusion of his entry level contract this season."

Tavares, 20, will be an RFA after the season. He has a cap hit of $3.75 million this season.

He had 29 goals and 38 assists last season.

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According to the AP, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy is open to the idea of the Islanders moving to his county "as long as it's good for the team and for the community."

The Islanders lease with the Nassau Coliseum expires in 2015.

Click HERE for more on the Islanders arena situation and talk of Queens and Brooklyn.

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At Islanders Point Blank, Chris Botta spoke with a member of the Queens Chamber of Commerce who said that the team would be a perfect fit in Queens.

He says that Queens has 61 acres of open space across from Citi Field and next to the US Tennis Center, access to the LIRR, subway and major highways and has already been zoned and gone through the requisite testing.

The Islanders have a lucrative TV deal with MSG Networks that runs through 2030-31.

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At The Sporting News, Craig Custance lists out some places where the Islanders could find themselves playing when there lease with the Nassau Coliseum expires in 2015.

He lists Quebec, Kansas City, Seattle, Suffolk County, somewhere else in Nassau County and the popular suggestion of Brooklyn.

More on Brooklyn from ESPN and Puck Daddy.

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More on the Isles at Newsday, ESPN NY, Isles Point Blank, Puck Daddy and The Sporting News.

This was a tough loss for the Isles. Now there is a ton of uncertainty about what will happen and what the plan for the future will be. What will John Tavares do when his contract is up at the end of this season? Charles Wang has tried very hard to get the Isles a new arena in Nassau County but can't seem to make it happen.

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Update: 11:36PM: Newsday says that with 62% reporting, it's 57.25% NO and 42.75 YES

Update: 11:35PM Kevin Allen of USA Today says that the AP has called the race and that the referendum has failed.

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[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/StanFischler/status/98016739782164480"]

Early reports are that the turnout to vote has been light so far. I really expect it to be close and don't know which way it will end up. We should find out later tonight.

If you live in Nassau County and are part of the 77% that want the Isles to stay, go out and vote. Polls close at 9PM tonight.

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks wonders if Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov would buy the Islanders so that they can stay in the area and play at the new Barclays Center being built in Brooklyn.

Brooks says that the arena will have capabilities to have an NHL sized rink.

Nets Daily says that the NHL would likely not approve a move to Brooklyn because the arena will only be able to hold 14,500 for hockey and that the owners of the building decided against an NHL tenant when they downsized the arena.

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[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/alanhahn/status/96939756985925632"]

Hahn covered the Islanders for Newsday from 1999 to 2005. He said that he would vote NO on Monday because of how Nassau County has treated the Coliseum in the past.

Charles Wang says that the Isles are out of options.

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"The rivalry that has existed between the Rangers and Islanders for almost 40 years is one of the best in hockey and in all of sports.?? The intense passion and emotion involved in these games is something we cherish and would like to see continue for generations to come.?? We urge Rangers fans, Islanders fans and all hockey fans in Nassau County to vote yes for the referendum on Monday, August 1".?? - Glen Sather
77% of readers want the Isles to stay on Long Island

James Dolan has thrown his support behind voting YES.

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Update: 3:26PM: Chris Botta has more on this at Islanders Point Blank.

Update: 1:39PM: Katie Strang tweets that the Isles have confirmed that they have talked about bringing Yahsin back.

Original Post: 11:52PM:

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At Islanders Point Blank, Chris Botta writes about how a republican official has criticized the plan for the new Islanders arena which will be voted on August 1.

Newsday writes that details of the lease, "which is intended to spell out in detail the financial basis for the deal" won't be completed before the August 1 vote.

I have gotten more than a few requests to remind Ranger fans in Nassau County to vote YES on August 1 if they want the Islanders to stay and the rivalry between the two teams to continue. I haven't been hearing many encouraging things about this because while the referendum can pass on August 1, NIFA can squash the deal and they don't seem to be big fans of this.

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At Houses of Hockey, they wonder about Quebec City and their pursuit of a new team since the Nordiques moved after the 1994-95 season.

Quebec officials have believed that they will get another team there.

The Quebecers have made it known that they want a team back and I think that if the Isles referendum doesn't pass, the Isles will relocate to Quebec in the coming years

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the referendum on August 1st for the Islanders to get a new arena is the last chance to save the Islanders from moving off of Long Island.

If the referendum fails, Brooks writes,? the Islanders will have an even tougher time getting players to commit to signing with the Islanders since they won't know where they will end up in 2015 after their lease expires.

Brooks thinks that if it doesn't pass then the Islanders should try to negotiate a buyout of the remaining four years of their lease if there is a city ready to take them.

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[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/PeterBotte/status/68059563781398528"]

We will find out a lot more tomorrow as the Islanders make their "big" announcement. We shall see what happens. Everyone was all excited about the Lighthouse at one time....

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The biggest buzz in sports the last three days has been about New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The monster-sized billionaire who is making big statements about the future of the Nets told Barbara Barker of Newsday that he doesn't plan on buying the Islanders and moving them to Brooklyn.

...Brooklyn, if the Nets actually do move there, could be a logical place for the Isles if they want to stay in the area. No one seems to have any idea what will happen with the Isles, but this would be the best thing for them, if Prokhorov bought them. He is instantly a classic guy. He asked Mike Francesa yesterday where the Mad Dog was which fulfilled a dream I always had. That or calling up Mike and calling him Chris.

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Last week, in 3D!, the Rangers shutout the Islanders 5-0. Scott Gordon, Isles coach, called it the worst game of the season for his squad.

Tonight at the Nassau Coliseum the two teams meet again, for the final time, and the Isles are out for blood:

"That Rangers game is in the past, but we haven't forgotten it," Kyle Okposo said of the drubbing. "It's a big deal. We want to beat them."

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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman went on WFAN's Boomer and Carton show yesterday and spoke of the situation that the Islanders are in.

?I think Charles? preference - I know it is -?would be to keep the Islanders where current Islanders fans will be able to continue to be able to go to the games,? said Bettman. ?The problem is, Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead seem to be not recognizing the fact that this lease they have is going to expire (in 2015).
Bettman doesn't think that the potential option of moving to Brooklyn, where the Nets are, isn't one:

?Does it make sense, based on where the Islanders? fanbase is, to go to Brooklyn? I don?t know the answer to it,? said Bettman. ?I think most Islander fans are based in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk. That doesn?t mean there aren?t fans somewhere else. And getting to Brooklyn from there isn?t the easiest thing in the world.?
Read all about this at Isles Point Blank
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If the Islanders Lighthouse Project doesn't go through as planned, another area in New York could serve as the Isles home.

Sources tell Chris Botta, of Islanderspointblank, that the Barclays Centre, where the Nets hope to play basketball, have approached the Islanders about moving to Brooklyn.

Botta notes that Brooklyn, along with Kansas City and unnamed Canadien city are the biggest suitors if the Lighthouse project doesn't come to fruition.

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