SBD/Issue 176/Franchises

Islanders Cancel Trip To China Over Disagreement With NHLPA

Islanders' China Trip Has Been Canceled After
Wang Objected To NHLPA's Requests

The Islanders' planned nine-day trip to China "for training camp in September is off," according to Katie Strang of NEWSDAY. The NHLPA wanted to "send representatives to China before the Islanders' trip to make sure all facilities complied with certain NHL standards." Sources indicated that Islanders Owner Charles Wang "objected to the request because he feared it might cause problems" with his native China. Because of their "reluctance to comply with the requests," the Islanders "declined to put down a deposit that was due for the trip this past Friday." Sources said that Wang also "bristled at the NHLPA's request for a donation to the NHLPA that would be given back to help fund children's hockey programs in China." NHLPA Communications Dir Jonathan Weatherdon contends the request was more a "suggestion." He added that the "suggested donation was not a make-or-break element of the terms." Strang notes the Islanders now must "focus on putting together an alternative training camp schedule." At this point the "top two options are to return to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where they held training camp last September, or remain on Long Island" (NEWSDAY, 5/25). Weatherdon yesterday said that the NHLPA's "planned logistics check was standard operating procedure for any event involving the union's membership and was not in any way a sign of disrespect for Wang or the Islanders" (ESPN.com, 5/24).

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