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Board of Governors approves sale of Islanders

by Dan Rosen

NEW YORK -- The sale of an escalating interest in the New York Islanders to Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin was approved by the NHL Board of Governors on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the sale agreement, Ledecky and Malkin are purchasing a minority interest in the Islanders from Charles Wang that will transition into a majority interest in two years. Wang will maintain his status as majority owner until the interest transfers.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the sale is not final because it needs to close, but the hope is that it will be completed before the start of the regular season next week.

"It's not going to happen tomorrow because there is some work to do, but I think they're probably shooting to get it done before the start of the season next week," Commissioner Bettman said. "If they miss it, that doesn't mean anything bad."

A vote on the sale was not on the original agenda for the meeting, but after briefing the Board on where the transaction stood, Commissioner Bettman said one of the governors made a motion to hold the vote during the meeting. It was originally supposed to be a fax vote.

"One of the owners made a motion and said, 'Instead of doing a fax vote, why don't we do it [now?],'" Commissioner Bettman said. "I said as long as everyone understands the finalization of the transaction has to be to my and counsel's satisfaction and it's a unanimous vote then we can take a motion, which I did. It was seconded and it was approved unanimously. It was more spontaneous by ownership to decide they were comfortable."

Ledecky is a former co-owner of the Washington Capitals. Malkin is a London-based investor.

"It brings in some additional ownership expertise, strengths, resources," Commissioner Bettman said of the sale. "It also provides over time for an orderly transition in ownership, which was very important to Charles."


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