New York Islanders Sale Talks: $300 million valuation?

"Five thousand dollars over here, the man in the ushanka. Do I hear six...?" - Bruce Bennett

The story that began with Bob McKenzie's tweet adds another leg.

Is there anything to the report that New York Islanders Charles Wang is in talks to sell the team, or a majority stake in the team? Of course. There are always talks.

Has something heated up? Probably.

After getting sources to confirm Bob McKenzie's late-night tweet that put a thousand Islanders fans into red alert, Sports Business Journal reports the asking price is $300 million. SBJ reporter (and former longtime Isles PR flak) Chris Botta also echoed the "now hold your horses here" nature of McKenzie's original note, saying:

An NHL source confirms to Shift that there have been talks but noted that a deal is far from complete.

Oh, and whoever is talking, er, confirming, is also conveying that Wang is a bit peeved by the leak -- but then isn't every owner, always:

Although the Isles have an "ironclad" agreement to move to Brooklyn and stay there for 25 years, the news has some Isles fans worrying about relocation prospects again. (As in, relocation outside the metro area.)

Check Botta's timeline for more on signs that plans are full steam ahead for Brooklyn, with the Barclays Center/Nets operators giving back business operations control to the Isles for the rest of their time in Nassau, in order to focus on 2015. (And hell, the team hasn't been worth marketing much in a disappointing 2013-14.)

The next break in this story will probably be the first reporter, if any, to put an identity on the person or entity with whom sale talks were held.

But the way these things go, that person could be someone Wang already deals with (pick your poison in the never-ending Brooklyn/Nassau/former-Islander-who-knows-people-with-money drama), or it could be Gary Bettman's NHL office feeling out various parties who have expressed an interest in joining the NHL club, now that Wang has apparently expressed interest in letting someone else.

Never dull with this franchise. Never dull.

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