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Report: Islanders owners talking to Queens about arena project, rinse, repeat

Is the 7 Train running today?

It never ends.
It never ends.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Here's a thing people are talking about today. Via Bloomberg:

The New York Islanders are in talks with the owners of baseball's New York Mets about building a hockey arena adjacent to Citi Field in Queens, people with knowledge of the discussions said.

Willets Point is emerging as a persuasive alternative to the team's current home at Brooklyn's Barclays Center if the Islanders's owners and arena officials can't agree on a series of hockey-specific improvements, said the people, who asked for anonymity because the negotiations are private.

You can read the rest of the article, but it's stuff you no doubt already know: about the Barclays Center sight lines and ice conditions and commute and all the hot-button complaints that have been voiced since the Islanders announced their move from Nassau County to Brooklyn in October 2012.

Update: Newsday has confirmed through their own sources that the Islanders owners have spoken with the Wilpon family regarding a potential arena in Queens.

How much of the report you believe depends on how much stock you put in the ubiquitous "anonymous sources." At this point, the Islanders have had so many anonymous sources talking about them that they should count against the salary cap (but, uh, please don't. it's tight enough as it is).

As Greg Wyshynski notes at Puck Daddy, if any of these talks are actually occurring, it's in new co-owner Jon Ledecky's best interest to use any leverage he can to improve the team's standing at Barclays Center, even if it means threatening to leave. The situation in Brooklyn isn't perfect and if Ledecky is even half as passionate as he comes across, he'll be looking for any way to make his new purchase the kind of premier destination he promises to make it.

This would be a shocking turn of events if it wasn't just another part of life as a fan of the Islanders, a team whose most stable period coincided with its four-season Stanley Cup dynasty and five straight finals appearances. In nearly every other season of its existence, the franchise's future was clouded by bad ownership and threats of relocation to literally anywhere in North America that wasn't Uniondale. There was Kansas City or Quebec or Belmont Park or Suffolk County until finally Brooklyn happened.

So now Queens becomes "a thing" the way those other locations became "things." Congrats to journalists and radio talking heads across Canada for having another Islanders talking point to latch on to for the next year.

It has happened before and it will happen again because on the spectrum of New York-area sports teams, the Islanders are thankful for the existence of New Jersey sports teams (or former New Jersey sports teams) for keeping them afloat in the PR battle.

Maybe the story has some legs, maybe it's a ploy meant for leverage or just for livening up a quiet offseason. I won't hold my breath either way. The team will begin its second season in Brooklyn in October.

And, it goes without saying: