Destination Unknown, part four

Part Four: The most important rebuild of all

After covering all aspects of the Snow rebuild – the on ice acquisitions, the redevelopment of a minor league system, the new arena’s impact on free agency- there is one area that is in DIRE need to a rebuild, more than even the outdoor concession stands at the Coliseum. The front office rebuild.

Snow has shown us three skills as a GM: convincing players to sign team friendly contracts, picking at leftovers from the waiver wire, and picking at leftovers in the players fridge. Seriously, the guy is aging like he’s the President of the United States. Snow needs to realize his limitations, and since he has limitless funds as he often reminds us and also per all of Wang’s public appearances, here’s the true rebuild being overlooked: hire some front office talent! Get a guy who can look at other players in the league and not be afraid to move roster players, prospects, or draft picks to acquire them. Get a guy who can organize a workforce so we don’t have to hear stories about how Zdeno Chara sat one afternoon stuffing envelopes for ticketholders- maybe that story is a reason free agents don’t target Long Island? And get a training staff in to help minimize the annual physical damage that the players absorb. Hire a nutritionist- not for the players, that one’s just for Garth. Pick up a head coach and staff who have more experience than coaching the Uniondale PAL hockey team. Give Capuano a job he’s better qualified for- making appearances as the celebrity look alike from Man vs Food. Too many weight jokes? Not on the power play, where a talented, respected former player is showing what talent can share with current players. Hire people from winning organizations to help bring that feel to yours. You’ve got a 6 year run without accountability- time to put the big boy shorts on and start winning.

And has anyone else noticed that often players, coaches or management leave the Islanders and become successful? Peter Laviolette has a cup and 2 finals appearances. Don Maloney finally learned how to be a GM in Phoenix. Ray Shero in Pittsburgh says hi. Ryan Jankowski is making out with P.K. Subban. Why is it that when people leave here they find success? It’s almost like our front office is the training wheels needed to learn the job, then you go somewhere else that adds expectations for results, and these guys are good to go. They learn how to screw up here, then become clutch like a Sean Bergenheim playoff run.

Because in the long run, it doesn’t matter if you’re drafting first or last (Detroit), winning is a mentality. JT91 has it. Doug Weight has it. Ryan Strome has it. This organization needs to bring in a front office that is respected and experienced, and has a winning history. If you have no restrictions on players, then show me. Then act the same way to other executives. Develop a winning culture. The Penguins analyze every game and shift to see how to make teams effective. Our video coach is Youtube. This mindset of being second rate must end. You need winners at the top, starting with ownership dedicated to more than making a land deal, and you need that attitude to expand beyond that circle. Sadly, right now the only thing we have that is circular and expanding is Garth Snow.

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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:

    I agree with you, but the stripping down of the front office to the point where Snow is GM, ticket taker,scout and valet points to Wang cutting his losses more than any fault of Snow. If you are going to rebuild almost exclusively through the draft, reason dictates you should expand your scouting not cut your staff. How about a series of articles on how our savior owner, the man who gave Milbury?! free reign for far too long, and it would seem only did buy the team to develop the land, has yet to be held accountable?

    • MattandDan says:


      Ask, and ye shall receive. It’s going to be research heavy, so it’s going to be in the cooker for a while. Keep coming back. I’m sure you’ll enjoy!