This summer stands to be one full of franchise-defining issues for the Islanders. In a series of roundtables, SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano will discuss these topics. First up: Garth Snow's fate and the possibility of a new team president...
Alright, Andy. We now know Doug Weight will be back, as he'll be the main man behind the bench, but what about Garth Snow? Are the Islanders going to bring in a team president, and if so, will Snow stay on in some capacity?
Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
Man, this really has me questioning everything we were told was happening, Brian. Based on what we heard and what was reported, I was sure that a team president was being actively pursued and would eventually be hired. But with Garth seemingly staying, what does this mean? Is someone going to come in and not be given full control over hockey operations? I thought so, but now I'm not so sure, so much so I'd say it's no better than a 40 percent chance at this point.
That's certainly what it looks like. I mean, Garth pulled the trigger on taking the interim tag off of Weight, and any president worth his weight would want to pick their coach. So unless the Isles have someone in mind who already pre-approved Weight, it would seem like Snow is going to be running the ship. At least that what this week's move told me.
For sure. It's certain to anger many in the fan base, and some in the local media coming out and slamming the organization for continuing the status quo in the midst of a .500 season and missing out on the playoffs is sure to stoke the flames. But on Wednesday's conference call, Snow didn't seem too bothered by any of it, to be honest.
Maybe we should discuss the merits of keeping Snow. Personally, I don't understand the vast amount of hate he gets. It seems pretty obvious to me that he made two big missteps this season: the three goalie situation and not letting Jack Capuano go earlier. But as we saw once Weight took over and Andrew Ladd was healthy, the team he assembled last offseason ended up being perfectly capable of contending. What are your thoughts on the job Snow did, both overall and last season in particular?
Snow has been in charge for 11 years. Let's take the first seven and throw those out the window, because we were probably looking at a five-to-seven year period to repair the immense damage that Mike Milbury did to this organization. It was that bad, folks.
The last four have been a mixed bag. Still only one playoff series win in 23 years, and the way the goaltending was mismanaged this year was egregious and downright selfish. There is nothing in me that believes it was all because of an injury to Christopher Gibson, as we've been told. As far as the team getting better, they allowed five goals or more in five of their last 12 losses. I think the issues were still there, but masked somewhat by the jolt of the coaching change.
I don't know. I don't feel like you can put a playoff series loss on Snow's head. I mean, if Cal Clutterbuck doesn't clang the crossbar in Game 4 in 2014-15, who knows how far that team would have gone.
I look at the bulk of his work as impressive: like swinging a trade and turning a second rounder into a late first round gamble on Josh Ho-Sang, or signing his young stars to long-term reasonable contracts. Every general manager can be second-guessed with 20/20 draft vision, but all in all, I think Snow hasn't done much that's worth giving him the ax. I know Isles fans will hate me for that, but I think it's true.
Sure, he has had victories and those cannot be taken away from him. But overall, I feel it's time for a new voice at the top of the organization, just as they needed behind the bench. Snow has signed some bad contracts, especially recently. Time will tell, but it's hard to see Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas living up to their extensions, and the Ladd deal will look awful in three years.
I can't hold hypotheticals against Garth. Cal and Casey may end up being overpaid, but if this team matures into a Cup contender, maybe they're the invaluable character pieces? And I thought the Ladd deal was a clunker two months in, but he proved he has plenty left in the tank.
So I'm not quite ready to call Snow's tenure a failure. If this team takes another step back next year? Sure. But I think this franchise has a lot going for it, lack of a playoff berth this year be damned. I suppose we'll see how this plays itself out in the coming months. It's safe to say all eyes will be on Garth this summer.