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Islanders News: Charles Wang had multiple bidders...for shame!

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But I was told we have a deal.

Spotted at Iceworks, getting his timing back.
Spotted at Iceworks, getting his timing back.
Bruce Bennett

All throughout the New York Islanders sale process this year we heard one thing that all would officially go on record to say: The team had received "multiple expressions of interest," and owner Charles Wang was always "willing to listen."

Where the line is between that and actually leading people (or people leading themselves?) to believe they had a deal is the gripe for not one, but two jilted bidders.

Yesterday Andrew Barroway's forlorn story was added to by Forbes, which reported on a second party that claims to have had a deal (note: that is, of course, without a signed deal):

Wang also was negotiating to sell the team to a Boston-based investment firm called Peak Ridge Capital. Not beginning in March, but several months earlier.

The ultimate agreement would have valued the team at $508 million — Peak Ridge originally had offered around $30 million less — with Wang sending Peak Ridge a purchase and sale agreement that in many sections is identical to the one sent to Barroway (it is worth noting that Peak Ridge would have been aware of Barroway’s attempts to purchase the team, as it had been leaked to the media). Part of the Peak Ridge group included a former NHL player, who likely would have run hockey operations.

In the "possibly dodged bullet" category, I'd love to know which former player was a part of the group to "likely" run hockey operations. Not sure we need another ex-player to get on-the-job training.

Anyway, can't say I'm moved by the hurt feelings among parties tossing millions of dollars around for a sports team -- no honor among thieves, and then over here you have hedge fund managers and investment barons -- but it has been amusing to see the same chain of complaints from the same variety of malcontents rip Wang for asking a steep price for this franchise, then rip him again for actually getting that price and then some.

Whatever. Team's sold. Hope the new owners are great. If they're not...well, we've been there too.

Islanders and Other Reads
  • You've no doubt seen a variety of Islanders new and old have been skating this week, with more on the way. [Isles | IPB]
  • As noted in last night's post, the Isles are still pushing the greatest 15 Isles in history ballots (through Sept. 30), though the final 15 seem all but locked down.
  • Who makes the opening night roster? [TCL]
  • I really tried, but I can't hate the Blue Jackets. Yet. [LHH Hate & Envy]
  • This bad contract All-Star team includes no Islanders. [SB Nation]
  • These are the 14 best defensemen in the NHL. [NHL]
  • Zone entry data for the Leafs gives an idea why people are excited by Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner. [PPP]
  • Gary Bettman talks NHL business and says the NHL is not in expansion mode, naturally. [NHL]
  • Jonathan Willis, a really insightful hockey writer, posted a top 10 Isles prospects B/R link in FanShots. In comments I chafed at the slideshow format (not at Willis, whose stuff I've always enjoyed). He has a thoughtful piece about resorting to such things to get by as a writer -- something top of mind, given some of the hockey writers who have been let go just in the last week.

For the record, though (and move on from this soapbox if you don't care about this tangential topic): I understand and sympathize with that plight. But I don't think any content as common as a top 10 list is worth the nuisance labor of a slideshow. One of the flaws (despite their SEO-gaming success harvesting the lowest common denominator audience) of sites like B/R that are addicted to slideshows: It's a cynical equation that says a reader who gives up after three/four frustrated slide clicks has delivered more than a happy reader who stayed to read a full, information-rich page (or two!).

Likewise, it's cynical (and possibly a fallacy) to use SEO-gaming to feed slideshow traffic, which fuels more SEO-gaming, and suggest the resulting traffic volume is evidence of serving the reader. (Who is served by this other than the company that uses it to claim to advertisers it's evidence of volume and content quality?)

Honestly, slideshows, like any design theoretically geared toward serving the user/viewer/reader, should be used only when the content fits the format -- i.e. rich photos/graphics that tell a story, not familiar file photos that ostensibly illustrate a few lines of text per page.