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Report: LaFontaine approached to help Islanders stay put
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Former New York Islander Pat LaFontaine may be making a return to the club for which he enjoyed some of his finest professional moments.
That's acording to the Post on Monday, which reported that he has been contacted by European investors who wish to buy the struggling club and keep it on Long Island.
Islanders owner Charles Wang is looking to sell the franchise, which has been losing roughly $40 million per season. Wang is also seeking a new arena deal once the current one expires in 2015, and has stated publicly that, if he still owns the team, it will not play at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale theerafter. Nassau County voters already struck down a tax-driven measure to fund a new venue in the region in August of 2011.
One option available if the club remains in New York, its home since 1972, is the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. However, the arena built to lure the Nets from New Jersey holds just 14,500.
The paper quoted unknown sources which said the 47-year-old, who still resides on Long Island, is interested and might scrape together enough for a bid, but the price tag -- $300 million -- will likely be a deterrent.
LaFontaine has been estranged from the franchise since 2006. That's when former Rangers GM Neil Smith was hired as general manager, only to be fired by Wang six weeks later. The diminutive center, who joined the front office as an unpaid adviser to Smith, resigned his post.
A St. Louis native who was drafted third-overall by the Islanders in 1983, LaFontaine totaled 468 goals and 1,013 points in 865 games with the Isles, Buffalo and the Rangers during a 15-year NHL career.
10/01 15:08:10 ET