Madoff mess could force Islanders out
Lives have been ruined, so this would not rise anywhere close to that level, but the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme that ensnared the Wilpons and has the future of the Mets' ownership in severe doubt, is all but certain to claim another victim:
There will be no arena in Queens for Charles Wang or, more importantly, a potential buyer, to move the club to when the Islanders' lease at the Coliseum expires following the 2014-15 season.
There will be no other arena in the area to house the Islanders, whose current owner has never once indicated he is amenable to discussing an alternative to his DOA Lighthouse project.
Queens represented the best chance to keep the Islanders here, and the Wilpons, who had expressed preliminary interest, represented the best, if not only, chance to get such an arena built.
Given NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's previous testimony under oath in the Coyotes' case in Phoenix, it wouldn't have mattered whether Wang would have been a part of it, for a new arena adjacent to Citi Field would have been an appealing enough site to attract buyers committed to keeping the team in New York.
Now, though, the fate of the franchise seems to be entirely in the hands of Wang, who has given no indication whatsoever that he plans to do anything other than run out the clock until the lease expires and then flee.
The Islanders will be without a lease, the Islanders will be without an arena, the Islanders -- or the team currently known by that name -- will be in Quebec City,
in a new arena almost entirely financed by taxpayers with dreams of bringing the NHL back to their wonderful city.
It's a doomsday scenario for the Islanders, and a nightmare for their fans, who have four years in front of them to watch the sand run through the hourglass, and will have to decide whether it's worth it to buy tickets and help defray the cost of developing John Tavares and all these draft choices, when another fan base will reap the rewards.