Ever hear the one about two sides negotiating toward a deadline, so they start leaking positions to the media to try to increase pressure on the other side?
The Islanders and Barclays Sports & Entertainment, for different reasons, are motivated to figure out a new lease agreement before the end of the month, as both sides can opt out of the current deal:
- The arena wants to opt out, because it agreed to pay the Isles way too much in the original deal, and it would like to fill obligations for Nassau Coliseum (which it also operates), and it thinks it can force the hand since otherwise the Isles could be without a home for one or two seasons as they wait for Belmont to be ready.
- The Islanders are cool with making some alternative arrangements, because a serious portion of their fanbase either hates Barclays and/or misses the Coliseum, and yeah, they’ll need a temporary home.
- But they’re also hooked up with the operators of Madison Square Garden, who are part of the Belmont development and in any case don’t want BSE to thrive, so the Isles may be able to threaten backup options if BSE plays too hard.
Anyway, deadline is approaching. Stories surfaced from “sources” yesterday. Expect more to come.
- Tales from sources in the arena leverage-waving contest: “Closing in on an agreement.” [Newsday] Isles have offered Coliseum games, but BSE pushing for more. [Brooksie/Post] Wake us up when y’all are done. [LHH]
- The Isles were off yesterday for some time in Sin City, but the pro scouts are in town for meetings a month out from the trade deadline (and before this weekend’s league meetings), and Weight expects a helluva effort tomorrow. Casey Cizikas might play. [Newsday]
- Lots of people, including several Islanders fondly recall US Olympic hockey fixture “JJ” Jim Johansson, who sounded like a great guy and died unexpectedly this week, leaving behind a wife and two-year-old daughter. [Isles]
- It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that the entire Winter Olympics men’s hockey tourney will be backstopped by Sound Tigers alumni. [Soundin’ Off]
- The Sound Tigers are in the bubble again, but at least they began the second half with a couple of wins. [Bridgeport Report]
Look at this guys!! My dad saved every ticket from every Islanders game he’s been to. 1980-now pic.twitter.com/aWsKEj4aPs— regina phalange (@rhcphaley) January 17, 2018
Last night’s scores — there were 12 games — included the Penguins beating the Hurricanes, the Devils losing in Boston, the Flyers beating the Wings in OT, the Avalanche win streak coming to an end, plus more Metro implications.
- Scouting report: How tomorrow’s opponent, the Vegas Golden Knights, measure up with other contenders. [Sportsnet]
- Progress for a downtown arena for the Senators: see Calgary and Long Island? Making land arrangements for new arenas is easy. [Ottawa Citizen]
- Many say Seattle will rock with NHL hockey, including some kid who played there named Mathew Barzal. [ESPN] [Barzal on ESPN Audio here]
- The PHWA is doing mid-season awards votes, and allowing one vote to go to the fans. So, vote here if you want one-10-thousandth of one-six-hundredth of a say. [Form here]
- See, even three-time Cup champions repeat the same damn refrains after losing all season long. [SB Nation]
- The Sedin twins will try to help management by telling them which way their leaning for next season, but...they don’t know yet. [Sportsnet]
- The Red Wings sent some young players down and pissed off fans because this is what hockey teams do. It’s about accountability or something. [WIIM]
- Marc Bergevin will be active in the trade market, a concern for Habs fans. [Friedman’s 31 Thoughts]
- Eight high-risk trade targets. [Down Goes Brown at Sportsnet]
- Many issues face the Sabres, including — get this — it’s bad in the room! (Do they want Chimera?) [Sportsnet]
- Thanks to a Google Image search, probably, this NBC promo thinks Jake Gardiner is an Kessel. [PPP]
- More weird Olympic intrigue means Valeri Nichushkin, among others, are not “invited” to play for the unified team. [SB Nation]
- What I love about this Blake Wheeler’s kids video watching him score the shootout winner is they have no idea he plays in the best league in the world. Like kids that age would have the same reaction for dad doing it at 10:00 at night in a men’s league, they just think dads are the best. [SB Nation]