We’d like to be angry at New York Islanders’ owner Charles Wang for his decision to move his hockey team to the incredible new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Even if in recent years they were losers, they were our losers.
But in fairness we cannot. The National League Hockey team will leave when its lease at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum expires in 2015 because the county Legislature could not find a way to work with Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano to keep the team here. This came after Wang spent several years trying to gain approval from the Town of Hempstead for a mixed-used development that would have included a new Coliseum.
The Islanders, the team of Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier and Bobby Nystrom, is leaving its home on Long Island.
Summing up the disaster perfectly, Kevan Abrahams, the county’s Democratic Party leader, said in a release, losing the team is a “sad day and “another crippling hit to our local economy.”
“To lose the Islanders, Nassau’s only professional sports franchise, is an epic failure of leadership at all levels. We must start working on new ideas for the Hub so that the Coliseum does not sit as a crumbling eyesore for generations.”
Wang didn’t want to leave. He had turned down offers from teams in other states.
The Coliseum was no longer fit for a professional franchise and the clown show that is often Nassau County government apparently didn’t see the importance of keeping the team.