August 22 2008 08:05AM
Now let's get this straight from the beginning. We love Jonathan Willis. He’s like the little brother we didn't know we had—you know, the brother that writes the kick-ass hockey blogs on the internet. But when we see a story that is similar to his story, but better than his story, even though it seems more boring than his story, we had do act.
New York Islanders promote Vice President of sales to Team President?
Now you're talking!
Who are you kidding? Your job can wait for another ten minutes. Read on.
If you can believe this Nation, the Islanders just announced that they have promoted Chris Dey—former VP of sales—to team president.
We know what you’re asking: "The same Chris Day that used to work with your cousin at the car dealership, detailing lease returns in 1987?" No, different Chris Dey.
This Chris Dey had been the Islanders' vice president of sales, marketing and event operations, and will also now oversee all business operations for the team as well as the Islanders Children's Foundation, the club's office in China, and the Charles B Wang Ice Hockey Project Hope in China, as well as being the team president.
Now I know you’re saying "Geez Wanye, I need to know this like a need a shovel to the face." Or are you are asking "Will Chris' new duties still include his work with the Lighthouse Development Corporation?"
You know it!
The press release says that he’s continuing to work with the LDC "on the planning and the sales and marketing of the transformed Nassau Coliseum—a renovation project that is still in the works." Good question, lambs!
For those of you who chose the shovel to the face option, and think this story is going nowhere, perhaps we can sway your interest by reminding you that Islanders owner Charles Wang promoted Chris Dey. Oh, and that Charles Wang is most likely suffering from some sort of dementia, or is at the very least completely crazy—and is one of the worst owners in the NHL.
Which says a lot.
Charles has a penchant for doing strange things, like promoting one's backup goalie to GM on a whim while he was still under a player contract, as Charles did when he promoted Garth Snow to replace outgoing GM Neil Smith. Smith, to be fair, had grown stale in the position having been GM for 40 days.
Or when Wang decided he hadn't destroyed his franchise enough by signing Alexei Yashin to a ten-year deal, so he went and signed Goaltender Rick DiPietro until some time in the 2432 season. He is apparently a big fan of deciding on people “based on instinct” and this promotion doesn't seem to be based on Vulcanian Logic. This is the same man who once considered hiring Sumo Wrestlers to play in goal. This is documented fact, lambs. You can look it up (see about half-way down the article).
According to Wang
''Chris [Dey] has been the driving force behind the change that the business has undergone over the last year. The promotion is well deserved and will enable him to do even more to improve the business—the way we service our fans, the impact we can have on amateur hockey on Long Island, the leadership we show in the community and more. I know Chris well enough that he will stop at nothing less in making the Islanders the model franchise in the NHL.''
We should hope you know him well enough, Charles. He’s your son-in-law for heavens sake. He’s married to your daughter. Your grandchildren vaguely resemble him, can't you see it? Cut the crap.
You have to love it if you work or play for the Islanders. Your coach gets canned with hilarious regularity, the guy you used to rifle pucks at during practice and prank call on the road is now negotiating the contracts, and you basically suck all kinds of everything. Want to complain about your situation? Not to the GM you don't. Not to the coach, whoever he is for the moment. Not to the president—he’s the boss' kid and probably so scared to stand out of line that he spends most of his days hiding under a pile of coats.
Think the Oilers have problems because they only hire former Oilers? Try hiring based on the decisions of a guy who makes decisions like, "Great save in practice today, Garth. Here are the keys to the team. Now go sign me someone until a date beyond our Western Calendar." Or the new one, "Hey there applicant for Team President, don't I know you from somewhere? (wink, wink)"
He’s your son-in-law. Good choice.
''I'm so appreciative of the confidence that Charles and the organization have shown in me,'' Dey said recently. ''We're continuing to build a very talented staff that is committed to being the very best in the business. I hope that our hard work will be felt most by the fans.'' Beats what he could have said we guess, "I'm such a big fan of the guy who just promoted me out of nowhere, against all standard hiring protocols. Who needs skill, or experience? I'm so happy I met his daughter at a celebrity poker event in Manhattan in 2003."
If you want to read more about Charles Wang you can read this.
PS: Wouldn't "According to Wang" be a great name for a 18th Century Romantic Comedy about Sumo Wrestlers looking for love in Beijing? We thought so, too. Except Sumo Wrestlers are Japanese.