Speaking to Newsday at the Islanders Captains Retreat on Wednesday, former Islander Ed Westfall said he hopes the team can figure out its arena troubles.
"It must be so difficult for Mr. Ledecky and his partner [Scott Malkin], trying to figure out the best thing to do for the team," he said. "And the fans, they've been kicked all over the place. Nobody gave two hoots about them."
The Islanders have been reportedly seeking a new home on the Belmont Park site as they attempt to leave Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Westfall was openly critical of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and how he's handled the situation.
"I'd love to say: 'Let me ask you something. You brought Charles Wang and Sanjay Kumar into the fold as owners," Westfall said. "You brought them in. Why did you let [Wang] move the team to Brooklyn? And then within a year you let him sell it? So why did you let him move it, one, and then sell it, two? What's going on?'
"Then [Bettman] gets on TV during the All-Star break and badmouths the arena, the ice and everything. He was the guy responsible," Westfall said. adding that the commissioner had suggested Wang hire Mike Milbury as general manager, a move that he said put the Islanders "at the bottom of the ocean."
As for the lingering issuing revolving John Tavares's contract, Denis Potvin believes the Islanders will work things out.
"I have full confidence that everything will be done by the ownership to entice him," Potvin said. "There's only so much money and John will get that money anywhere. Money should not be the factor. The deciding factor is loyalty and the fact that you believe the ownership is going to do something terrific here on Long Island."