And then there was one.
With the dismissal of Jack Capuano on Tuesday, the spotlight has officially shifted to the team's general manager. And while the seat under Garth Snow may have seemed hot before, the temperature is bound to be cranked up a few notches now that he has survived the third coaching change of his tenure.
Snow spoke openly at his Tuesday news conference about the fact he was going to be in the market for a new head coach this summer whether Capuano was retained for the entire season or not. If we grant the premise that Doug Weight isn't likely to get the gig, the bigger question is if Snow will indeed be the one the pick that man that eventually takes the helm.
It's very possible. Jon Ledecky's search for a team president has become public knowledge, but there are still many with ties with the organization (IPB founder Chris Botta among them) that believe Snow will continue to reign atop the organization. I don't really see how that would work if the team does bring in a president, but I've stopped being surprised by this organization long ago.
So would Snow deserve the axe? Many fans think so, but it's not as clear cut. The case for firing Capuano was clear. As great a person he was, he still had a system that currently doesn't have a single regular with a Corsi For Percentage over 50 percent. While this team misses Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen, it's not that much different than the last two teams that reached the playoffs.
Garth's case is a bit more complicated. While this summer's calculations of letting Okposo walk and signing Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera were certainly off, he has worked some magic in the past, making first-round draft picks appear out of nowhere, drafting talent with those picks that are drawing rave reviews from the hockey world, and signing young players to long-term, team-friendly deals. Every general manager is going to swing and miss. The question is what's his overall batting average? Given Snow's effort through the rebuild into the contention years, it's respectable.
But is he the man to get the Isles over the hump? Can he make the moves that set the Isles up to truly be a contender for the Stanley Cup? The remains to be seen, and it's at least possible Snow will continue to get to keep trying.
For now, just Capuano was held responsible. And maybe Snow does eventually have to answer for this letdown of a season. But one thing is for sure: There's no other direction to look anymore. All eyes are on him