Charles Wang is happy with Islanders and move to Barclays Center
With his team two years away from moving into its new home in Brooklyn, Islanders owner Charles Wang said he is not tempted to sell the team any time soon.
"It's part of my life, it's so ingrained now," Wang said in an exclusive interview with Newsday. "We have a great team. You can never predict the future, but today, I'm happy with it, having fun with it. You have something you enjoy, it makes you happy, that makes a big difference in life."
Wang, who is entering his 14th season as the team's owner, tried for years to get a new arena built at the site of the Nassau Coliseum before announcing on Oct. 24, 2012, that he was moving the team to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the team begins play in 2015.
"I think it's nice to know your destiny, to know where you're going," Wang said. "It's a good destiny, we feel happy about it. I think there were many masters to serve -- fans, the league, and this, that. To be able to do it in a way that's really the best outcome for everybody I think is fantastic. In that sense we're very, very pleased and happy with it.
"Obviously we would have loved to be in our own place in Nassau County. But boy, if you've seen Barclays Center, it's not like a second-best; it's really, really nice. I've been going to events there, to Nets games. It's just a short train ride away. We're very happy with that."
The Islanders reached the postseason last season for the first time since 2007, losing to the Penguins in six games in the first round. Wang put his faith in general manager Garth Snow to rebuild the organization from the ground up and believes his faith has been rewarded.
"I think even more so now because we're at this point," Wang said. "You've got guys who bought into a system, went through the hard times and may still go through more hard times -- there's no guarantee. Anything can happen. If you build the right core, get the right kind of people, you may have some bumps in the road, but you're headed in the right direction.
"You know we took it upon ourselves to rebuild, and rebuild a certain way. You also know we took a lot of flak for it. People come in and out at that point and say, 'Oh, they're terrible.' There's no guarantees, but we think we have pretty good ingredients."