The New York Islanders officially introduced two new ownership partners, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, in a joint press conference with owner Charles Wang and General Manager Garth Snow Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum.
“Jon and I are thrilled to be here today,” said Malkin. “It’s a great privilege to participate in this small way in the phenomenal Islanders hockey tradition.”
Ledecky and Malkin reached an agreement to purchase the Islanders on Aug. 19 and the deal was approved by the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors on Sept. 30.
The pair will serve as minority owners for the next two years, with Wang serving as the majority owner. After the two-year period, the parties will switch roles, with Ledecky and Malkin holding a majority share to Wang’s minority stake. Ledecky and Malkin are embracing their role as minority owners and say they are eager to learn from an experienced owner.
“As I've told Scott, so much has changed in the 15 years since I last was in the NHL,” Ledecky, a former part-owner of the Washington Capitals, said. “It is a process for us to learn once again. So many things have happened in the league both player-wise, player conditioning, statistical analysis, things that weren't prevalent in 1999 when I first came into the league. I think we do have a lot to learn. This process of being a minority owner first really gives us a chance to get that transition underway and to hit the ground running when we're fortunate enough to become the majority owners.”
“What I’ve realized in the few short weeks that we’ve formally been owners is how much we still need to learn,” Malkin said. “What I admire about Charles’ approach is he’s focused on what’s best for the team, the future of the team and a smooth transition and partnership lends itself to that. I’m learning every day from Charles and I see already how valuable this kind of transition is.”
Ledecky and Malkin declined to talk about on-ice specifics for the team, but insisted that the next two years will be about listening to fans and enhancing their experience.
“I feel very strongly that a team is a community trust. Scott and I will be – along with Charles – stewards of that trust for many years to come,” Ledecky said.
“We are going to be on a listening tour for two years, listening to the fans, listening to what we can do to enhance the experience for hockey fans as we move to Brooklyn,” he added. “I don't want to lose one single fan of the New York Islanders. I want them to come and migrate with us if at all possible, and we need to be doing things that are effective to make that a reality.
Ledecky endeared himself to Islanders fans by announcing his dislike for the Pittsburgh Penguins, while Malkin talked of his days playing high-school hockey in New York and playing club hockey through graduate school.
Wang said there is never a perfect time to sell, but felt that these were the right owners to hand the Islanders over to. He’s seen the Islanders through thick and thin over 14 years and will continue to stay on as a minority owner. Wang has always wanted what’s best for the team and he thinks he’s found it in a partnership with Ledecky and Malkin.
“We found new partners here, two partners that will be great for the Islanders,” said Wang.