JUST A BIT OUTSIDE: Isles Clearing Out Honesty

Billy Jaffe's possible replacement by the Isles braintrust?

Per IslandersPointblank, Bill Jaffe was victim of being just too honest.

Despite the outrage and that is one of the dumbest moves since…well, the last one….this is actually the norm for sports teams. They love to control the message. Especially teams who don’t have a lot going for it. An inferiority complex envelopes the team from management on down. Rationale becomes tremendously self-serving. This organization is now bathing in it.

Let’s look closely at the Isles org in the last few years. Constant internal cuts, a revolving door lately with business, PR staff and more. You can’t have that type of atmosphere and there not be a circus internally.

What is left is inexperience and those looking for anything to control perception and message. So a dunderheaded decision to nix the MSG Jaffe deal, a man who was smooth as silk and knew his hockey, is beyond moronic. However, it is par for the course for middling teams who can’t quite control the message by actions on the ice. They need spinmeisters to shoot out inflated hype. Jaffe was just too negative for them. Just like Newsday pre-Strang was too tough for them. They haven’t a clue of what tough and criticism is…but don’t tell them that.  But, the braintrust made their decision and have now alienated fans once again.

This all said, this is common for sport teams. They love to be stroked. They want homers who can throw flowers on the heaping piles of stool that might land on the ice. There are so many samples of far worse injustices, it is a waste of time to list them all. The NHL and hockey teams, for all their lipservice to media and new media, still expect and desire sugar and sweet talk.

Sadly, teams brass don’t get it. Honesty is a gift. Truth should never be feared. But, sadly, this seems lost on those who concentrate on perception instead of SUBSTANCE.

Just will be another reason to shut off the sound when watching an Islanders game.

But, let us all not overreact either, putting this up over the horrendous Town of Hempstead zoning issue, or even Jankowski not be reupped. Remember, this fanbase was once up in arms over Joe Michelletti being reassigned to the NY Rangers. The drama then was quite a hoot…and not much different to yesterday’s drama, I will have you know. 

Then there are those who just love to fan the flames, spin it as some conspiracy, even when it was the Isles themselves that pulled the plug on Jaffe.

Well, guess what…shit happens.

Is it dumb? You bet ya. Is it typical? Sadly yes. But the smart ones will look elsewhere and not be fooled.

The day will come when the Isles don’t have to be paranoid. Where the team on the ice will actually be something to write about. Where they don’t have to play childish games or hire homers.

When that happens, it will be something to cheer about. Maybe then the organization, who is raw and young like the team currently, will gain some maturity, wisdom and poise.

There is something rotten from within Isles Country that has now peeked out from the organization, and even the fanbase. Sad to see, and unfortunate for Billy Jaffe and the many fans who enjoyed his work. But he will land on his feet….talent always does.

THEY will keep on missing the point. But so will fans who overact like this is the apocalypse. Worry about the Lighthouse Project, Coliseum, free agency and if this team will get enough goals with just a pile of kids and one season wonders. Let’s keep it in perspective and not let those who love to fan the flames and suck down the chaos do their dance either.

 Keep an even keel, even if the Isles themselves fail to do it.

Just my suggestion.

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About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BDGallof and J. Roch, Hockey Independent. Hockey Independent said: JUST A BIT OUTSIDE: Isles Clearing Out Honesty http://bit.ly/buDDcq #isles #nhl [...]

  2. RobC/KO21 says:

    Im one of those who “overreacted” but it wasnt this one move that made me so irate. Its the way the org patronizes us loyal fans…So the truth is the Isles dont want us to have the truth. Why should we support a team that alienates its fans like the Isles do???I was mad when the Yankees starting charging hundreds for seats but at least they put a quality team on the field every game and they provide us with unbelievable coverage. The coverage is actually too much. The Isles do the exact opposite. They shut us out as if we don’t exist and the on ice product is what it is. The fact of the matter is we have bigger fish sticks to fry, like the LHP…Hopefully we will have a place to play by 2015 and if not all this will make perfect sense…It almost looks like the org is weening us off so we are so desensitized by the time they leave…Thats why I am worried about all these effed up moves

  3. Battfist says:

    Nice piece.

    You have to admit the fanbase that is left is passionate. I believe in the rebuild. I think the Isles have some very good talent. But these jabs to the face hurt after a while. I think the fanbase, including myself have every right to be upset…after another dumb move.

  4. mrlbem says:

    I don’t think there’s an organization run much worse than the New York Mets (OK, maybe we are), but even they have broadcasters who tell it like it is. But riddle me this—give me an example of something, anything negative Jaffe has said on the air over the last two years. Granted, I’m inside the Coliseum for home games more often than not. But I can’t recall anything even remotely negative coming from Jaffe. Anyone?

    • RobC/KO21 says:

      The only things that could be mis-construed as negative is when the team gets its ass handed to them and he just tells it like it is…”It wasnt a great game for the Isles tonight” but he always explains what mistakes were made and how they are young and are developing and how its just growing pains…Jaffe always looks for a silver lining for things to look forward to. He was always advocating the Isles in the rebuild and comparing them to the Hwaks and how we could be in the same mold…jaffe was nothing but a positive force in a negative environment

  5. IsleofNJ says:

    Of all the problems this team has right now (and we all know what they are), could it really be said that Billy Jaffe was one of them? Not being hysterical at all, but Billy Jaffe is excellent at his job with a good knowledge of hockey and the league at large…..certainly good enough to do some coverage gigs with NBC and Versus as well as on NHL Live. He gave the Isles some credibility on the big stage for a team which certainly needs credibility these days wherever they can find it. Yes, I agree that people get emotional over this (me included), but this was a screw-up for sure that simply didn’t have to happen especially as he is paid by MSG. Almost all fans liked watching him, he had good chemistry with Howie Rose and he made their TV coverage enjoyable to watch. HOW IS THAT A BAD THING?

  6. orngfan says:

    howie rose the biggest ranger fan in the booth gets to keep his job but billy jaffe someone who really cared about the team has to go?

  7. HyeDray says:

    In a summer of seeing failure, after failure, there could have been a few bright spots to celebrate.

    The proper thing to do would have been to lock Matt Moulson in by now and do “the right thing.” Arbitration is sticky, and can leave both parties distrusting of each other. Signing Jaffe to an extension would be a “feel good” moment too. So too would extending Scott Gordon for 2 more seasons.

    After this summer’s issues…tell me if this would make you feel better…

    1) The NYI’s announce that Brian Trottier has been re-assigned as a scout for the team. He will work closely with Ken Morrow and the rest of the staff.

    2) The Islanders announce that coach Scott Gordon has been extended for 2 more seasons. His contract was set to expire at the end of 2010-11, but the Isles now have coach Gordon locked up through 2013.

    3) The Islanders have reached a settlement before Matt Moulson’s arbitration hearing. They have signed Moulson to a 4 year deal.

    Those three stories would ease the pain of the rest of this summer’s shortcomings — Lighthouse and free agency. Having Jaffe come back would have at least added to that.

    While it may be seen as an overreaction — Charles Wang is a big problem. And while his money has kept the franchise here, I have reached the point where I am not sure that matters any longer. What good is it for the franchise to remain here if it continues to operate in an unprofessional way, and fails to make progress on any of the needs that confront it – like a new arena?

    Is it me, or does this franchise have a problem with resigning personnel? Im actually starting to wonder if Gordon will return for 2011-12.

  8. mike 8 says:

    Wang is the problem here, he hasn’t been straight with the fans or it seems with his employees. He’s created this mess of an organization. How can anyone expect him to complete the lighthouse project when he can’t even run a hockey team!?
    It wouldn’t surprise me if Gordon is gone after this season, they aren’t making the playoffs with this roster.

  9. RobC/KO21 says:

    Wow, the Isles fans on the blogosphere are on the ledge

  10. Turgeon1992 says:

    We always forget in this day and age of instant everything that decisions are still made by humans which take time. Letting Jaffe go is disappointing, but the Isles will find their replacement, it just won’t happen instantly. This who blog post is right to stem the overreaction.

    • RobC/KO21 says:

      Yeah who will they get to replace him???A friggen puppet like that dork, Rob Carlin??

  11. mike 8 says:

    A friend who is a Rangers fan was telling me MSG is going to be completly renovated over the next two years. Just like that they will have a modernized venue. So of course I start complaining about how sh*tty it is be an Isles fan, 13 years and counting and still not even close to getting this thing settled. Of course no other owner needs to build 20 other buildings with the the new arena to make it work but that’s the pathetic incompetent train wreck Isles for you.

    • RobC/KO21 says:

      Mike, Wang doesnt own the arena or the land surrounding it so why would he rebuild the arena unless he can make money with the development deal???Im not enthused with Wangs handeling of the organizations operations but you cant blame this shit on him…

  12. mike 8 says:

    Im just fed up with the whole thing and Ive become very wary of Wang over the past few months. I know Murray is a snake as well, the whole thing just sucks.

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