Report: Former Islander LaFontaine Sought to Buy Team

Hall of Famer looking to keep team in Nassau County.

While there might not be any hockey being played yet this season due to a lockout, the New York Islanders are still making headlines.

The New York Post reported Monday that Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine has been contacted by multiple European investors about not only buying the struggling franchise, but keeping the team on Long Island.

LaFontaine, who starred for the Islanders for eight seasons and is in the top six in goals and points in team history, is intrigued by the opportunity and may look to put together some sort of bid, sources said.

However, according to the Post, current owner Charles Wang is looking to sell the team for a steep $300 million.

At $149 million, Forbes currently has the Islanders valued 29th out of 30 teams in the National Hockey League.

Wang purchased the franchise in 2000 for $130 million, a decision he told Newsday [paid link] he regretted back in 2009.

"If I had the chance," Wang said, "I wouldn't do it again."

LaFontaine, who lives on the north shore of Long Island, would look to keep the team in Nassau, according to the Post. However, an arena would be necessary for the 47-year-old to pull off such a feat.

The lease on the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is set to expire in 2015. Nassau County residents voiced their displeasure at the polls back in August 2011, as they voted down a referendum that would allow for a new arena to be built for the Islanders.

R Miller October 02, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Wang is a great business leader in technology but a poor sports team owner. It is sad to see how this team has declined. Hopefully new ownership can come in and turn this franchise around to make it more competitive.
Ron October 02, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Good Luck Pat,you'll need it and $300 million. Wang is a such a baby he removed virtually all images and references to #16 at the Coliseum and even in the Islanders Hall of Fame. All because he spoke out against you firing Neil Smith. How's that Dipietro contract working for ya Chuckie?
Joe October 02, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I agree Wang is a great real-estate developer, he never really wanted to be a team owner, which is obvious on the job he has done on the ice, awful. Still the Islanders have a very loyal fan base and to be perfectly honest, the games I’ve been to I don’t think the coliseum is crumbling, yes could use a very good face lift like Madison Square Garden and a new owner and it would be back to it’s once glory days.
sadeto October 02, 2012 at 04:36 PM
What real estate has Wang actually developed? Have any of his proposed projects come to fruition? In my opinion, he proved himself a successful hostile acquirer of his competition, and an evader of responsibility in a multi-billion dollar scam involving false revenues aimed at inflating the stock price. I would rather not have his hands on any project involving the commitment of taxpayer dollars and debt in this county. Sell the team to someone who cares about the sport and go away.
Ralebird October 02, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Give Wang credit where credit is due. He has gone into his pocket for years to keep the franchise going and wants it to stay on Long island even when the politicians are playing their infantile partisan games that have blocked every redevelopment proposal he has made and was willing to pay for. Another owner would have taken them down the road long ago.


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