The NHL Shift: News and notes, 5/16/2014

The NHL Shift

The prospective sale of the New York Islanders to Andrew Barroway is now up to Charles Wang, the team’s current owner.

A source close to Barroway said last night that Barroway recently lined up the necessary partners and financing to complete a deal.

“It was no secret that Andy needed partnership money,” said the source. “Now, he’s put it all together and he’s in position to make the deal Wang wants.”

SBJ Podcast:
As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, staff writers Christopher Botta and Alex Silverman discuss the latest hockey news in SBJ/SBD’s “NHL Wrap-Around” podcast.

As reported in Wednesday’s “NHL Wrap-Around” podcast, Wang and Barroway have had an unwritten, non-binding understanding that the sale price of the team would be approximately $400 million. That agreement enabled Barroway to seek out partners, explain how much money was required, and detail why he thought the Islanders (who are moving to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2015) are a good investment.

The identities of Barroway’s partners have not been revealed. Barroway, a former litigator and current hedge fund manager from the Philadelphia suburbs, looked at purchasing the New Jersey Devils last summer before withdrawing.

An NHL source said Barroway does not have exclusivity on negotiating to buy the Islanders; Wang can listen to other offers. But Barroway’s acquisition of financing and partners moves the possibility of a deal one step closer.

“It’s still going to be awhile before we know if Wang completes the deal,” the league source said. “Charles has been focused on the Barroway offer because it meets his price, but Charles can be a tough negotiator. And as [NHL Commissioner] Gary Bettman has said, Charles still has to decide if he’s ready to completely walk away from the team. He loves the Islanders.”

The source close to Barroway said the bidder knows he will have to be patient.

“It could take anywhere from a month to a year,” the source said. “Andy expects Wang to be very deliberate.”
One thing is clear: The ball is now in Wang’s court.


BY THE NUMBERS


21,000: The capacity crowd at Bell Centre in Montreal to watch the Canadiens beat Boston in Game 7 on Wednesday. The game was played in Boston, so the Canadiens hosted a viewing party at their home rink. Fans paid $10 each to watch the game on the scoreboard and added screens, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Canadiens Children’s Foundation.

1.96 million: Number of viewers for the Rangers’ Game 7 victory in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, ranking fourth among playoff games all-time on NBCSN.

1.8 million: Viewership for CNBC’s telecast on Tuesday of Chicago’s Game 6 victory over Minnesota to advance to the Western Conference final, making it the most-watched NHL playoff game ever on CNBC. The net began airing games in 2012.

2%:
Percentage of entries in the Stanley Cup Bracket Challenge (the NHL’s answer to NCAA basketball tournament pools) that predicted the Rangers and Canadiens would advance to the Eastern Conference final. Only 1,000 of the 500,000 entries picked New York and Montreal.

100:
Number of Blackhawks games that will be televised locally by over-the-air WGN-TV by the end of the 2018-19 season now that the team and network have agreed to a three-year extension of a deal that still had two years left. WGN, which has been a broadcast partner of the team since 2008-09, shows 20 regular-season Blackhawks games each season.

$3,998: Amount paid on StubHub on Thursday for a pair of tickets for an if-necessary Game 6 at Madison Square Garden in the Eastern Conference final between the Rangers and Canadiens, the highest amount paid for a pair of hockey playoff tickets yesterday on StubHub.
 

THE LIST


According to StubHub, these five teams ranked highest in traffic at the secondary ticket seller’s specific team pages on Thursday, a good reflection of where the most interest is in the market. The Canadiens host Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final tomorrow afternoon.

1. Montreal Canadiens
2. San Francisco Giants
3. Washington Wizards
4. New York Rangers
5. Boston Red Sox

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