Phoenix Drama Ruins Good News for Islanders

Phoenix Coyotes players take to the ice at the start of the first period of Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Detroit Red Wings, at Joe Louis Arena, in Detroit, MI

The timing of the announcement of a proposed new arena for the Islanders is unfortunate, coming right on the heels of the City of Glendale needing to kick in another $25 million to keep the Coyotes.

Glendale has little choice, though. While the Coyotes are bleeding money, the city needs the team to occupy Arena. They need to keep the Coyotes around until they can find someone to buy the team and take over the lease.

There aren’t many details on what the potential Islanders arrangement will be, but the Glendale situation is a great example of what happens to cities when these kind of city/team partnerships go south.

I don’t begrudge any fans the right to keep a team in their city, but it seems like Glendale is spending an awful lot of money, basically trying to keep the Coyotes in town long enough to get someone else to shoulder more of the financial burden.

And when we should be hearing about Detroit’s amazing comeback against San Jose, instead much of the NHL conversations around the country are about the Coyotes and Glendale.

Again, I have no idea what the arrangement for the new arena on Long Island will be like. And in general, Nassau County seems hell-bent on not taking any kind of loss on any kind of arena deal. Plus, Charles Wang, who owns the Islanders, seems both financially solvent and committed to keeping the Islanders on Long Island.

But in terms of getting taxpayers psyched about a new arena, they might have waited for some of the Glendale drama to die down a little bit.