NEW YORK (AP) _ New York Islanders owner John Pickett has reached an agreement to sell the troubled NHL franchise to Texas billionaire John Spano, the New York Post reported today.

The newspaper said Spano, who failed in recent bids to buy the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers, will pay well over $100 million for team, which he has agreed to keep on Long Island. The deal, which needs approval from the league's Board of Governors, could be announced as early as today.

Pickett, who bought the Islanders from Roy Boe in 1978, sold a 10-percent share in 1994 to a management committee that handles the team's day-to-day operations. Spano, 32, is president of the Dallas-based Bison Group.

Meanwhile, Newsday reported today that a group led by New York Mets part-owner Nelson Doubleday is trying to buy the team. But the newspaper, citing an unidentified Nassau County source, said another buyer might close a deal before the end of the month.