While the Islanders’ business partners beat on the train station cola machine of sponsors that took their quarter, the big news was happening upstate in a conference room — perhaps you watched the riveting webcast — as the six-member Empire State Development Franchise Oversight Board unanimously voted to approve the proposed arena project at Belmont Park.
So, it’s finally cleared: The Islanders’ path to a new arena of their very own is paved. Developers and agencies were thorough to hopefully fight off any lawsuits, which can be filed until December. [Newsday | LHH | Horse Racing Insider]
From the Newsday piece:
Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky, speaking toward the end of the meeting, became emotional when thanking fans and promised to be good neighbors to Elmont and Floral Park. Then he spoke directly to [ESD chairman Howard] Zemsky: “It’s been a two-year journey and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Ledecky said.
It took you a while to commit to a hockey ops overall, but this was by far the bigger fish to fry. Take a bow, Jon Ledecky.
- Meanwhile, in minor irritant news: The events company affiliated with the Islanders and Nets is suing a health clinic chain for the price of one heavily used Jurcina after it stopped paying its sponsorship money. Somebody left the gate open! [Post]
- Czech goalie prospect Jacob Skarek appears headed to North America. Where will he fit in the Islanders’ system? [Pelicans (Finnish)]
- Mathew Barzal has joined former Seattle Thunderbirds teammate Ethan Bear as a counselor at a camp for Indigenous kids in Saskatchewan. And he’s loving it. [NHLPA]
- How coaches spend their summer “vacations.” Includes one Barry Trotz, who has a secret meeting with a bunch of other coaches every year where they chat about trends in the game and... well, they’re not telling you. But it’s all about helping each other [The Athletic]:
“Everybody has the same game it’s how you are able to communicate that game or navigate through situations out of the game. And they’re not always on the ice, they’re dressing room, they’re all over, social, they’re wives, they’re everything. Social media. Whatever. Contract status all that stuff. And navigating through that a little bit so you can have success. All us older guys are preaching it’s OK to help each other.”
- Which teams are hard to peg this coming season? “I’ve given up on trying to predict what’s going to happen to the Islanders, given how wrong I was about pretty much everything last year.” [Down Goes Brown @ Athletic]
- Twenty season ticket holders selected at random attended a lunch with Ledecky, Stan Fischler, and surprise guest Gary Bettman. [Isles]
- Speaking of Fischler, ICYMI, his recall of the 1982-83 swoon as the three-time champions wobbled in the chase for a fourth Cup. [Isles]
- Robin Lehner’s new mask for the Hawks advocates for mental health awareness. [NHL]
- It feels like everyone in North America other than Mitch Marner and his camp get this: He’s...kinda overpricing himself. [Sportsnet]
- ...which, I mean that’s his right, because as much as many NHLers make, the upkeep, the peer pressure and the long-term planning can be quite expensive. [Athletic]