It wasn't the announcement the NHL wanted to make Wednesday. But with the lockout still going strong and league owners not even meeting with the NHL Players' Association, it was all it had. The New York Islanders are moving to Brooklyn.
Long stymied in his attempts to build a state-of-the-art arena in suburban Nassau County, where the Islanders once won four Stanley Cups, owner Charles Wang instead signed a 25-year lease at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That takes his team about 30 miles from the heart of its fan base but also stabilizes a franchise that had offers to move to other cities.
And so Brooklyn, which lost the Dodgers in 1957, now has two pro sports franchises. The NBA's Nets begin play there this season. The Islanders will join them for the 2015-16 season.
As for the lockout: No meetings were scheduled, and commissioner Gary Bettman didn't sound optimistic that his goal of a Nov. 2 start could be met.
"It looks like the 82-game season is not going to be a reality, though there is still some time left on the clock," Bettman said at the Islanders' news conference.
- Brian McNally