After a spring of "in talks, but it's far from done" reports, it now appears talks have ceased between New York Islanders owner Charles Wang and Andrew Barroway to sell part or all of the NHL team.
Since the end of last week, I started to hear a lot of rumblings of varying reliability -- take it for what you will -- that Wang had decided against selling to Barroway, with one source saying Wang had told the NHL as much.
Today Newsday's Steven Marcus, who is paid to report on such things, distributed this via Twitter: [UPDATE: Here is Marcus' story for Newsday]
ISLES: Source said Philadelphia-based hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway has ceased negotiations to buy team.— steven marcus (@newsdaymarcus) August 5, 2014
My best sense right now, given the amount of time between news, is that it's a true impasse -- though these things can always reignite once conditions or stances change.
Assuming that's true, who called off what and when is a matter of he said, she said, but the bottom line is Wang never received an offer strong enough to convince him to sell. Barroway may have "ceased negotiations" on his own accord, or by the de facto rejection by Wang, who for all we knowmay have been just gauging interest all along.
The meatiest previous report was from June, when then-Sports Business Daily reporter Chris Botta reported that Barroway had people lined up to invest as majority owner and to populate the staff of the team, while Wang wanted to complete any sale in the summer.
With many of the pieces in place, did Wang have a change of heart?
Certainly since the Barroway-Isles story began, the team has gone through a lot, from a season-ending injury to its franchise star, to missing the playoffs, to a promising first round at the draft, and enough good free agent signings to lead us to think they've addressed their most critical on-ice needs.
Did that help tip Wang -- who only ever confessed to "listening" to offers -- to hang on for the team's last season at the Coliseum? Anything's possible.
But we're dealing with mega-millionaires here. They have concerns, assets, and liquidity priorities you and I can only pretend to fathom. It looks like one of them, Charles Wang, is holding on to his Isles for a 15th year. For now.