Islanders owner Charles Wang said he'd be thrilled to have his team in next year's Winter Classic.
Yesterday, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon told the NY Post he'd like to host a Rangers-Islanders matchup on New Year's at CitiField, and Wang said he's excited about the prospect.
"We would love to do that, obviously," Wang said when reached by telephone this morning. "I think it would be wonderful."
Wang said he thinks bringing New York's classic rivalry between the Islanders and Rangers to the main stage next year would be a definite crowd-pleaser.
"All the people in New York know about the rivalry. It would be a great event, a great atmosphere and great for the sport. It would be so much fun," said Wang before adding a playful jab at the Rangers. "And we'd beat them, too."
Wang said he expressed interest in such an event before the Heritage Classic outdoor game in Edmonton in 2003. He even lobbied for an Islanders-Rangers tilt to close out old Yankee Stadium. Now that Flushing boasts a new sparkling ballpark, Wang is re-energized about the possibility of giving it a hockey christening.
"It's a wonderful venue," Wang said.
Beyond lobbying for the chance to participate, however, Wang knows it is ultimately a league decision.
"Of course we would cooperate however possible if there's interest," Wang said. "But, it's the league's decision, not ours."