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Wang's next move? Here are some possibilities

Islanders owner Charles Wang has several alternatives for

Islanders owner Charles Wang has several alternatives for his Lighthouse project. (File photo, 2009) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Four months have passed since Charles Wang said he was ready to explore his options outside Nassau County for a new home for the Islanders.

In his only public comments since then - made to team broadcaster Howie Rose during MSG's broadcast of Saturday night's game - Wang insisted he has "a lot of options."

That doesn't mean they're all equally attractive, though.

In the wake of Town of Hempstead supervisor Kate Murray's announcement of her intentions to take control of the Lighthouse project and vowing to scale it down, here's a breakdown of what those options are:

1. Play nice with Kate Murray.

Wang has practically begged the Town of Hempstead for feedback on his plans for years, and now he finally is going to get it. Whether he'll like what the town comes back with remains to be seen. But it would make little sense for him to step away now, especially given that the Town of Hempstead will be footing the bill for the consultant's work going forward.

The process of drawing up new scaled-down plans is supposed to be completed by the beginning of summer, at which point Wang can say yea or nay. He's been through too much with this project not to see this last maneuver through, on the chance that he'll like what he is presented.

2. Eye on Willets Point.

All indications point to Willets Point as Wang's top option outside Nassau County.

The area next to Citi Field - commonly known as the Iron Triangle - is large enough that Wang can bring most of his Lighthouse plans with him. Plus, the core group of Islanders fans who have been frustrated by the lack of progress with the Town of Hempstead wouldn't totally oppose following him a few miles west.

But we're getting way ahead of ourselves here.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation still is in the request-for-qualifications phrase in the process, with more than two dozen entries from interested developers. After those are vetted by the city, the developers who pass will take part in the request-for-proposal stage, which will determine a winner.

It will be several months before that happens, all the more reason for Wang to at least stick it out with the Town of Hempstead for the time being.

3. No sleep till . . . Brooklyn!

Teaming with Bruce Ratner to play at the new arena in Brooklyn would be an interesting twist, considering how Wang and Ratner competed against each other to purchase the Nets nearly a decade ago.

High-powered politicians there want to see Wang bring his Islanders to their borough, but it still is difficult to imagine because he presumably simply would be a tenant.

It's hard to see Wang going for that type of deal unless it's a last resort, considering that he's spent all these years fighting for the right to develop a piece of land that he wanted his grandchildren to be proud of.

4. Move outside New York City.

There are many cities in the United States and Canada interested in wooing a professional hockey team, but the NHL likes having three teams in the New York area.

Is Wang willing to move his team from the area that he has called home for more than 50 years? He certainly doesn't want to do it.

And although the Islanders' new sublease with SMG softened the language regarding leaving before July 2015, Wang still would have to pay a significant buyout.

5. Sell . . . and take a BIG loss.

In this economy, it's difficult to envision a group of investors lining up to buy a team that lacks a viable business model and plays in one of the worst arenas in the league.

But if there were interest, consider this: Forbes recently valued the Islanders at $149 million. That's $12 million less than Wang paid for the team in 2000. And what about the more than $200 million he's lost to keep it operating all these years?

Clearly, selling would mean taking a significant financial hit.

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