UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- With his deadline for politicians to give him certainty on the Lighthouse Project about to pass, Islanders owner Charles Wang announced Saturday night that he is exploring options for his New York Islanders.
Saying he is "angry," disappointed" and "disgusted," the Islanders owner revealed that for the first time he is faced with the reality of the Islanders leaving Nassau County. "And that is very sad," he said.
"I asked (Kate Murray) to keep it confidential, so we're not going back and forth in public. I picked up the newspaper today and there it was." Wang shared his discontent and plans in a media briefing just prior to the Islanders' season opener at home against Pittsburgh. Dropping the puck in a ceremonial faceoff is Tom Suozzi, the Nassau County Executive who has led the Lighthouse Project to county approval with its developers, Wang and Scott Rechler. However, it is the Town of Hempstead that Wang blames for stalling the progress of the transformation of the Coliseum and surrounding property.
The Islanders owner was even bitter about Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray's decision to share the details of a recent conversation with him with Newsday, the Long Island newspaper. "I asked her to keep it confidential," he said, "so we're not going back and forth in public. I picked up the newspaper today and there it was."
But he will listen. "It's not what I want," said Wang. "But it's not like they are giving me many choices."