Katie Strang of Newsday [that'll be $5 please] reports that "a snag regarding procedural requirements" has canceled Charles Wang's plan to hold 2010 Islanders training camp in his native China. ESPN picks up the report. Chris Botta at Islanders Point Blank provides some background info from when the agreement was initially approved by the NHLPA which makes all of this sound, to use his word, "bizarre."
Which is of course old hat for Islanders fans accustomed to Wang's outside-the-box forays with his club. I always figured it was Wang's right as owner to take the club where he wants, but I certainly am not disappointed to hear the team won't be traveling half way around the world to train right before enduring an 82-game (and hopefully, longer) NHL season. That idea never sat well with me, as it doesn't seem designed to give your team the best chance for success.
The report that a "procedural snag" -- perhaps coupled with a disagreement over a charitable NHLPA donation instead of the union's usual fee -- has derailed a previously agreed-upon trip leaves this news wiiiiide open for speculation that there are other factors that initiated this change: Money? Second thoughts? Logistical challenges? A focus on NHL success over cultural enrichment? The union views it as the team failing to live up to an agreement.
Whatever the deeper causes, your guess is good as mine. The greater result for me (should this decision stand) is that, as the Islanders prepare to lure free agents and get this rebuild program into the next gear, they won't have the distraction of gearing up for next season by navigating different food and different resources some 12 time zones away.