Back before we knew the New York Islanders were staying in New York but moving to Brooklyn, remember all the fun (but mostly angst) we had as different might-be, should-be, if-it-were-me reports bounced around from published media, message boards, and general hacks?
That's kind of what the sale of a sports franchise is like too. And that's how this is gonna go for the New York Islanders.
Consistent with the Lighthouse Hockey approach to such things, we're not going to hold our breath waiting to learn who the next Islanders owner will be -- and there will be a next owner, because there always is, because yes even sports owners die or retire or go bankrupt or lose interest. (In sports you're at the mercy of your favorite team's owner, and the one guarantee you have is that owner will one day change and change again.)
But some reports are too good not to highlight, and this is one: There's a billionaire who might be interested in the Islanders, and hey, maybe he'll decide this weekend if he's going to go for it, and he'd go for it alone (well, in cooperation with one Brooklyn native with some AHL ownership experience), and that's enough for a story.
The info is via the Post-Standard in Syracuse, where Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon (a Brooklyn guy with a Long Island home) has previously expressed interest in pursuing the Islanders if he could get a certain well-heeled friend he's known for 18 months or so to, you know, put up the money.
The latest report is pretty great, in a "Man, this is how surreal ownership scuttlebutt can get" way:
Dolgon said the investor, whom he would not identify, could decide as soon as this weekend whether to publicly emerge as an ownership candidate and take the next steps from there.
Dolgon said Friday was the most engaged the possible investor has been in the process.
"Today was the most optimistic I've been,'' Dolgon said Friday night. "It's the lengthiest conversation on the topic he and I have had. My feeling is that after this conversation is that he's going to want to go forward to it.''
I say that not to rip the report -- it's well-sourced (there is even source audio of the interview), it's completely relevant locally (it's a bit deal if the Crunch owner leaves for an NHL team, because ownership changes are...well you know), and it's quite up front:
A guy with connections had another conversation with a really rich guy, and that really rich guy may want to buy the Islanders, and if he did it he would want to be the sole owner rather than share a stake with Charles Wang.
For more context, it's worth listening to the audio interview (about 10 minutes in), because it's more detailed and deals with the realistic methodology that would be required for Rich Guy X to move forward -- and also calls the Islanders' current asking price "ludicrous" given the amount of money the team loses.
So that's a something. There are many more somethings to come.