Despite numerous recent delays in the groundbreaking of construction of the New York Islanders future 19,000-seat arena in the Belmont Park area, the Islanders got some good news today. Empire State Development hopes to approve the final environmental impact statement next week, according to David Winzelberg of the Long Island Business News.
The project has been held up due to the environmental report, but Empire State Development has scheduled a meeting of its board of directors and seek “authorization to accept and approve” it. The approval of the final environmental impact statement should be the final step to beginning the construction of the $1.18 billion plan to build the Islanders new arena, a 250-room hotel and a 435,000 square-foot retail village onto the Belmont property.
On a separate note, however, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was also scheduled to be on Long Island Monday to announce a new railroad station at the Belmont project, but has postponed that appearance.
- The Boston Herald’s Marisa Ingemi wonders if this might be the right time for the Boston Bruins to seriously consider moving defenseman Torey Krug. With a number of restricted free agents they must deal with, including an incredibly pricey one for Charlie McAvoy as well as contracts for Brandon Carlo and Danton Heinen, the team might want to free up some money. Throw in some of their holes on offense and their depth on defense, moving Krug might make some sense. The 28-year-old is on the final year of his contract and will likely get a significant raise from his $5.25MM current salary. Will Boston want to commit to a 29-year-old long-term?
- The Athletic’s Joe Yerdon (subscription required) writes that while the hiring of Jason Botterill two years ago hasn’t resulted in immediate success for the Buffalo Sabres, the same can’t be said for the team’s AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans. Since Botterill and Randy Sexton took over in May of 2017, the two have put quite a bit of effort into rebuilding their AHL affiliate, which has now made the playoffs two years in a row after missing the playoffs for three straight years before that. That has been evident once again this week when the team added a number of top AHL talent, including forwards Jean-Sebastian Dea, Curtis Lazar and C.J. Smith, defenseman John Gilmour and goaltender Andrew Hammond. The belief is that Botterill believes that AHL success should only add that needed depth that can eventually help the NHL squad as well.