New York, NY (Sports Network) - Former New York Islander Pat LaFontaine may
be making a return to the club for which he enjoyed some of his finest
That's acording to the Post on Monday, which reported that he has been
contacted by European investors who wish to buy the struggling club and
keep it on Long Island.
Islanders owner Charles Wang is looking to sell the franchise, which has been
losing roughly $40 million per season. Wang is also seeking a new arena deal
once the current one expires in 2015, and has stated publicly that, if he
still owns the team, it will not play at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale
theerafter. Nassau County voters already struck down a tax-driven measure to
fund a new venue in the region in August of 2011.
One option available if the club remains in New York, its home since 1972, is
the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. However, the arena built to lure the Nets
from New Jersey holds just 14,500.
The paper quoted unknown sources which said the 47-year-old, who still resides
on Long Island, is interested and might scrape together enough for a bid, but
the price tag -- $300 million -- will likely be a deterrent.
LaFontaine has been estranged from the franchise since 2006. That's when
former Rangers GM Neil Smith was hired as general manager, only to be fired by
Wang six weeks later. The diminutive center, who joined the front office as an
unpaid adviser to Smith, resigned his post.
A St. Louis native who was drafted third-overall by the Islanders
in 1983, LaFontaine totaled 468 goals and 1,013 points in 865 games with the
Isles, Buffalo and the Rangers during a 15-year NHL career.
The Sports Network