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Gary Bettman: “Still time” to keep Islanders in Long Island

Islanders Announce New Lease Agreement

UNIONDALE, NY - JUNE 22: New York Islanders Owner Charles Wang speaks to the media during a press conference to announce details of a lease agreement that takes an important step forward, creating a new world-class sports-entertainment destination in Nassau County, including the retention of the NY Islanders on June 22, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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The New York Islanders aren’t going anywhere until their lease runs out, but the general feeling is that their days in Long Island are numbered. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t provide many concrete details, yet he backed up Isles owner Charles Wang’s (pictured) efforts to keep the team in the area, as Arthur Staple reports.

“Charles Wang is continuing, despite tremendous frustration, to look at all options to keep the club in the metropolitan area,” Bettman said. “There’s still time [to find a deal].”

Staple points to a date that might just be ominous, though. The Islanders are scheduled to play a preseason game in Brookyln, the new home of the (formerly New Jersey) on Oct. 2 - assuming that the impending CBA talks won’t eliminate such exhibitions.

The Islanders aren’t the only team in their general area to face some struggles as Bettman was also answering questions about the Devils’ financial state during his pre-Stanley Cup finals press conference.

Both situations might take some time to resolve, but Bettman’s technically right; the Isles do have time to look for solutions. Their lease runs out in 2014, so theoretically, the window hasn’t closed - on Long Island or any market hoping to nab a team that is quietly assembling solid young talent.