Garth Snow doesn't often conduct interviews of any real heft, but when he does, they are almost always embarrassing to the franchise and insulting to the fan base. As for Snow, he has no shame. This guy has been trolling the customers and his employers since before Twitter really took off.
Snow did not disappoint on Wednesday, when he launched a dizzying torrent of turds at the dignified Steven Marcus of Newsday. Marcus has been a strong journalist for a long time on the Island. He did his job. He got someone to talk who usually runs away when the going gets tough, and then Marcus reported what his subject said.
There are two themes to any Garth Snow interview. The less important, but more hilarious portion is when Snow tries to send twisted messages to his bosses to illustrate what a brilliant general manager he is. On Wednesday to Marcus, Snow obliterated his own record for unleashing quality bullcrap in brief time, making Calvin de Haan a $10 million-a-year defenseman in the process by citing his injury as a primary "fact" behind his team's mediocrity. It was such an awesome display of desperately pumping himself up through fiction, it warrants its own post tomorrow. (Doug Weight, apparently bummed out over bloggers, deserves a break).
Beyond all the BS, to the countless citizens of the Country who went on social media over the last 24 hours and opined that Snow was clueless, tone-deaf or indifferent, there's one thing that needs to be pointed out.
Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin are 100 percent on board with Snow's approach and direction, as dictated in the Newsday article.
How do I know? It's simple, really. Snow, who may be many things but is definitely not an idiot, thinks these things through. When your head coach has twice as many assistants as your team has media outlets covering you, you can be methodical about your messaging, and disappear from the public eye for months at a time. In the million years left on his contract, Snow would never conduct an interview with the only newspaper that covers the Islanders regularly, and not share information he hasn't already told the owners and received their support for. He never made personnel moves without getting a pat on the head first from Wang.
If you were flabbergasted to see Snow exude confidence in his comments about not trading John Tavares, or making an impact trade to shake up his two games-below .500 team, don't be. Ledecky and Malkin have his back, and Snow knows it.
"We have obviously two first-round picks, two second-round picks," Snow told Marcus. "We're a team that's right on the edge of getting in the playoffs and not being in the playoffs. So, are we going to at this point in time, be giving first round picks and high picks for rental players? I don't think we're in that position. Just doesn't make sense."
This is a vintage Snow job, pretending the only way to make his team better is to part with first-round picks at the trade deadline. He has been negligent in not improving the 2017-18 Islanders for several weeks. His job is to manage the roster. It's not a zero-sum game that every move has to be a blockbuster.
How did the Penguins get better over the last few weeks? How did the Bruins (despite giving away Johnny Boychuk!), Lightning, Predators, and other teams leap over the 12-year Islanders' rebuild - again - in the last year? The Devils still have more to prove, but did they make their giant step forward this season after a series of offseason mega-deals?
Of course not. But apparently this is the kind of mind trick that has worked wonders with Wang and the new guys for Snow, hired in 2006. ("Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby" came out in 2006, for cryin' out loud. My kids call it a classic comedy).
No matter how this season turns out - and yes, I still believe they can get a wild card - Snow is likely to remain general manager. Ledecky and Malkin are almost certainly behind the mandate to refuse to listen to offers for Tavares, and risk losing him for nothing. They are undoubtedly on board with Snow not making a strategic deal this month to make his team better.
So knowing that, do you think they're going to dismiss him anytime soon?
If you didn't like what Snow said yesterday, keep in mind that it starts at the top.