New York Islanders majority owner Jon Ledecky has said all the right things.
You’re in good hands.
Just like an Allstate agent, Jon Ledecky promised that the organization’s new ownership would be committed to winning, and that fans should rest assured knowing that the team won’t sleep until Lord Stanley’s Cup is hoisted for the fifth time.
The conundrum many diehards are facing with Ledecky is that what he’s said evokes memories of John Spano and Charles Wang’s pledges to build a winner. It should go unspoken how both regimes ended.
However, unlike Spano, Ledecky and his partner, Scott Malkin, actually have money, and unlike Wang, they aren’t using the position as a footstool into the Association (to the best of our knowledge, at least).
But what stood out most about Ledecky’s discourse was his passion. It’s hard to explain to the skeptics, but Ledecky gives off the vibe that he wants to win big time, and at any expense.
John Ledecky is giving me chills talking about the @NYIslanders. Dude seems committed to winning
— Michael (@InterviewKing1) July 14, 2016
“There are no financial constraints on (GM Garth Snow) and the team,” Ledecky told The New York Daily News’ Peter Botte. “So if we need to be cap-max to compete for a Stanley Cup, we will be cap-max…We want the New York Islanders to be a destination in free agency and we want the Stanley Cup to be lifted by our captain, John Tavares, whether it’s this year, next year or five years from now.”
Unlike most owners, he appeared to be a genuine fan, one who roots for and dies with his team, and one who uses the phrase ‘pursuit of excellence’ in his everyday vocabulary.
For example, when Shannon Hogan of MSG started asking about “When John Tavares becomes a free agent…” Ledecky cut her off, and exclaimed, “What? He’s not going to be a free agent! We’re going to make sure of that.”
The diction he used in response to other questions reinforces this claim. “When we win the 5th Stanley Cup, all season ticket holders will and should get a ring,” Ledecky promised.
“We are looking to kick the Rangers’ ass,” he vowed.
“An owner who wants to mettle with a GM is a fool….we will open the checkbook. If we have to max out the cap we will,” he exclaimed.
Sounds like #Isles fans at Barclays tonight are getting a better understanding of Jon Ledecky's passion.
— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) July 14, 2016
To further appease the fanbase, Ledecky pledged to bring back Sparky and the Ice Girls. In an article on the team’s official website, he claimed that he’s been speaking to fans — some of whom think he’s an usher — about potential improvements.
Ledecky has said all the right things. He’s shown a true passion and will to win. Actions obviously speak louder than words, but it’s a good start.