Destination Unknown, Part 3

Part Three: Free Agents aren’t actually Free

Chronicling the failures of the Garth Snow regime takes time, energy, and ideally, beer. In fact, watching the Islanders play is best done through a haze of sudsy goodness. We suggest that if you’re looking for a Belgian Style ale that’s full of deliciousness, you’d be good to go with a Weyerbacher Merry Monks for the season opener, as the return of hockey is a joyous time. And no, we’re not sponsored by Weyerbacher. Much like players and the free agency period, the people running the arena do not bring in the better beers that are out there, Westmalle excluded. But back to picking on a general mangler.

Since Garth Snow doesn’t trade for NHL players, and drafts have thus far been a mixed bag, how does he fill rosters? Free agency, you say? Boy, that’s a stellar cast of has beens and retreads. Maybe we’re forgetful, but Snow’s only big free agent signing was the 7th defenseman/13th forward in Montreal, who, when given 25 minutes a night and John Tavares as a center, can put up 40 points. And be minus 20. And at the time, Snow had to overpay to acquire Mark Streit. Which presents in itself a conundrum. Snow claims that he is unable to attract free agents to Long Island. Looking at his record of acquisitions, we’d have to agree. We’ve seen the likes of Doug Weight, Billy Guerin, Dwayne Roloson, Martin Biron, Brad Boyes, Marty Reasoner, and a microwave oven. But those players, even running on fumes, were free agents. So when Snow says that he can’t attract Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff, Ilya Kovalchuk, Zack Parise, or a salad to the Coliseum, we don’t think we’re getting the entire story. We’re thinking that maybe Snow forgot to use the word “quality” when describing his failures in free agency, because he certainly can scrape up the bottom of the barrel Trevor “I’m not Clark” Gillies.

Snow has shown a knack at the waiver wire, scoring Matt Moulson, PA Parenteau, Michael Grabner, Evgeni Nabokov, and Rob Schremp…ok, so you can’t win them all. And if one wants to be paid market value for the only time in his career, well then you can’t keep them all, either. The waiver wire, thus far, has been a strength of Garth Snow, mainly because the players already have contracts and can’t say no to the craziness that emits from this franchise. Let’s see if he keeps such a trend up when amnesty buyouts come into play in the summer. We’re talking about you, Vinny Lecavalier! And hopefully Snow will have the sense to let another team look to pull a bought out Rickety D from the scrap heap and hand out hot dogs…Toronto, maybe?

Try this- since the building and the future were excuses to not bring in a free agent, now that all of that is settled, show your fans a reason to have some faith. Snow often says that he has no financial restrictions and that as long as a move makes sense, he’ll do it. Well Garth, time to put your money where your mouth is. Actually, keep the money out of the donut shop, and put it could make an impact. If the Rangers can sell NYC, so can you.

Coming up in part four- what the rebuild should look like.

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About the Author: We are two long time hockey fans who certainly have our own opinions and points of view. Feel free to share yours. Follow on twitter @joshbarely

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  1. bcarroll25 says:

    Acquired the rights to Ehrhoff and tried to sign him, albeit to a backloaded deal. Smyth pulled a Mike Hampton,(must be long island schools), and he reportedly offered Martin more money.

    • MattandDan says:

      Hey BC,

      When you are fielding dogpoop, you cant say “Pittsburgh offered you $5? We’ll give you $5.50.” You gotta blow dues out of the water. Granted Martin isn’t a guy you do that for, but Kovalchuk is.

      Thanks for the comment.