While there has been talk that the Islanders would be forced to find a new home following the 2018-19 season with Barclays Center ownership preferring to host other events, the two sides are in discussions regarding a short-term extension that would keep the team in Brooklyn a bit longer, reports Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos (video link).
A report back in September suggested that the current deal can only be renegotiated up until January 1st, 2018. The current contract allows the Islanders to opt out as early as the end of next season but with no firm plan in place for a new arena, that wouldn’t be feasible. On the other side, arena ownership currently has the ability to opt out following 2018-19.
While any temporary arrangement would reduce the immediate need to find another place to play within the area, it certainly doesn’t look like the Islanders will be playing in Brooklyn anywhere near the 25 year term of the original agreement.
Other notes from the Metropolitan Division:
- The Blue Jackets held out center Alexander Wennberg from their game against the Devils this afternoon, one in which they became only the third team in NHL history to score two penalty shot goals in the same game. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch notes (via Twitter) that the 22 year old is dealing with a stiff neck and was held out for precautionary reasons. Wennberg leads Columbus in assists with 42 on the season in 70 contests.
- In a separate tweet, Portzline notes that Islanders center Ryan Strome will not be suspended for the hit that caused Wennberg to be out of the lineup. The league felt Strome’s push wasn’t an overly aggressive one. No penalty was assessed on the play.
- Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and defenseman Kevin Klein both skated in advance of Saturday’s game against the Wild, the team announced via Twitter. Lundqvist last played March 7th and is dealing with a hip injury. The team has been targeting a return sometime during New York’s California trip which kicks off March 25th. As for Klein, he has been dealing with back spasms for the better part of a month and there is no timetable for him to return to game action.