“In recent months, there have been numerous expressions of interest in the purchase of the New York Islanders,” Wang, 69, said in a statement. “However, potential buyers’ expressions of interest in the team, or even my listening to them, does not mean that any deal will be reached.”
The Islanders are ranked 26th of the league’s 30 teams with a value of $195 million, according to Forbes. The team had $61 million in revenue in 2012-13 and an operating loss of $1.2 million, the magazine said.
The Islanders in 2015 will move into the Barclays Center, the $1 billion home of the Brooklyn Nets. Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov owns the Nets and a share of the arena, which opened in 2012.
When asked about Prokhorov’s potential interest in the Islanders, spokeswoman Ellen Pinchuk referenced a news story from 2011 in which he said he wasn’t interested in owning another team. Pinchuk said Prokhorov’s opinions had not changed.
A software entrepreneur from China, Wang bought a share of the Islanders in 2000 and assumed principal ownership in 2004. He signed the 25-year lease with the Barclays Center after trying to secure a new arena for the Islanders on the site of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, the team’s home since 1972.
The Islanders won four consecutive Stanley Cups titles from 1980-83, led by future Hall of Famers Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin, Billy Smith and Bryan Trottier. The team has made the playoffs twice in the past eight seasons without advancing past the conference quarterfinals.
Last night the Islanders, who are last in the eight-team Metropolitan Division with 68 points, beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 after a shootout to improve to 29-35-10.
Three NHL teams have been sold since 2012 -- the New Jersey Devils ($320 million), Florida Panthers ($250 million) and Phoenix Coyotes ($225 million), according to ESPN. All three of those purchases included operating rights to the teams’ home arenas.
To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com Dex McLuskey