March 3, 2013
NHL notes: Islanders have big bills to pay
By QMI Agency
The New York Islanders’ new lease on life, set to start when they move to Brooklyn in 2015, might cost them a mint, according to a report released by Long Island’s Newsday.
Owner Charles Wang and Nassau Coliseum’s management company, SMG, reportedly owe Nassau County in New York as much as $3.8 million in unpaid rent, utilities, parking and concessions dating back to 2011.
The county has twice written to Islanders administration, namely senior vice-president Michael Picker, seeking payment in February 2012 and Feb. 22 of this year.
The Islanders claim the county owes them for repairs they’ve done on the arena, but acting director of Nassau County’s Division of Real Estate Services, Michael J. Kelly, said the debt owed by the franchise outweighs what they owe.
“The county has asked the Islanders to pay the balance and provide us with further information about the claims they have made (for repairs),” Kelly wrote Newsday. “We expect that the Islanders will be responsive to our request. If the Islanders do not respond or do not pay, the county will review its options and take action as it deems necessary.”
According to the New York Post, Wang has attempted to sell the Islanders The Raine Group, an investment bank, for $300 million. The team also has a $75 million loan to pay off at the end of the 2013-14 season.
On top of that, the Isles hold the dubious distinction of lowest attendance record for the 2012-13 season with 12,755 according ESPN numbers, passing the embattled Phoenix Coyotes.
ZOLNIERCZYK GETS FOUR
Harry Zolniercyzk is going to be hanging out with Philadelphia Flyers management for the next four games.
The left winger was suspended four games by the NHL on Sunday for his hit on Ottawa Senators defenceman Mike Lundin in the first period of Saturday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center.
During a Flyers line change, Ottawa’s Lundin picked up the puck in the neutral zone and entered Philly’s offensive zone. Zolniercyzk charged across the ice and levelled him.
In the ensuing scuffle, Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo got into a fight with Ottawa’s Kaspars Daugavins.
Zolniercyzk received a charging major and game misconduct. Lundin suffered a concussion on the play and is out of the Senators lineup.
It was Zolnierczyk’s second game misconduct penalty in as many games. He received a one after kneeing the Washington Capitals forward Mathieu Perreault in Philadelphia's game on Wednesday.
One of the casualties of the NHL lockout was the cancellation of All-Star Weekend in Columbus.
Now, the city’s mayor is asking the league when their next chance to host the marquee event will be.
In a letter obtained by the Columbus Post-Dispatch, mayor Michael B. Coleman sent a reminder to the NHL that the city is ready to host the event.
“We understand there are plenty of steps ahead before naming the host city for the next NHL All-Star Weekend, including the determination of the next available year, conference realignment, the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark and the 2014 Winter Classic on New Years’ Day in Detroit and Ann Arbor,” Coleman wrote. “We hope that you understand our urgency to regain the opportunity for Columbus to host one of the world’s best sporting events. We continue to work on holding space in our hotels, convention center and other venues for 2014 and 2015, and we will be ready to go when the League is ready.”
Hosting All-Star Weekend could result in a serious bump for a franchise in dire need of one, such as the Blue Jackets.
If NHL players attend the 2014 Sochi Olympics, however, there won’t be an all-star game. The Post-Dispatch also reports there are rumours the Toronto Maple Leafs have been awarded the game in 2015, leaving 2016 the earliest date to have it in Columbus.
The 2005 All-Star Game, which was to be hosted by the Atlanta Thrashers, was wiped out due to the lockout back then. Atlanta didn’t get a make-up game until 2008, thanks in part to the 2006 Torino Olympics.