So this is how it’s going to go going forward: the Islanders will play 500 hockey. They will have a hot streak at least once this season. They will have a cold streak at least once this season. At the end of the season, they are going to be a team around .500, battling for the 8th spot in the playoffs just for the privilege to get blown away AGAIN be a better team in the first round.
How do we know this? Because our general manager is Garth Snow.
No one does more with less than Garth Snow. He signs players to basement bargain contracts, gets his star player to take a sub market price deal (as an RFA with no negotiating leverage, but still), uses the waiver wire like it’s free, and looks to find old dogs with just enough legs left to give one more productive season.
And these plans, for the most part, all fail.
The older players he signs are washed up and are looking for one last money stealing payout. The waiver wire signings that are good are far exceeded by other team’s trash that Garth picked up. The “good deals” he makes re: saving money on contracts are exceeded by overpaying for garbage ones like Matt Carkner or our favorite good guy, Josh Bailey. That Bailey inked a $17 million dollar deal with those career stats is mind boggling. There’s no way Snow could have predicted that- that deal was solely to help the team reach the Yashin influenced cap floor.
What people also overlook is that while Snow has a reputation for doing something with nothing, it’s painfully apparent that he has done close to absolutely nothing with something. And that, friends, is shown by his absolutely awful drafting. Despite 3 lottery picks and 5 first round picks in the last 4 years, there is not a single regular playing first round draft pick on the team. No other team in hockey can make that claim. There is only one second round pick playing regularly in the entire drafting history of Garth Snow. When you are a lottery team for 5 consecutive seasons, you are supposed to be able to develop a minor league system based on the fact that you’re picking twice in the top 35 available junior players, and once in the top 5. Snow has turned all of that lack of success into John Tavares. And to a lesser extent, Cal Clutterbuck.
One can only watch the mismanagement of assets that led to very ready looking Griffin Reinhart being irrevocably sent to juniors a few games before Lubomir Visnovsky- at the time the Islanders most effective defenseman- went down with a concussion. And who to take Lubo’s place? Any of the 30 or so defensemen drafted by Garth Snow? Nah, let’s rebuild with Radek Martinek working for NHL minimum wage. That’s the way uh huh uh huh Snow likes it- on the cheap.
If any fan thought that this was the year that the rebuild came into fruition- despite all of the warnings we gave you about the lack of a competitive training camp and the alarming number of one way guaranteed contracts- then you’re in luck. You may not need it to get to the games, but we surely have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you.
The prudent Islander fans knows what to expect- reread the first paragraph, sigh, and expect more of the same.
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