Whether you agree (somebody does) or disagree with the decision to keep Garth Snow as the General Manager of the Islanders, this organization proved once again they can’t get anything right. They continue to be the laughing stock of the league. The national media and fans continue to view this organization as the crazy guy that nobody understands. The disgrace of this organization is well beyond that decision. This is yet another example why everyone that does not live on Long Island believes John Tavares is leaving, because nobody can fathom somebody choosing to commit their career here. In the week since the conclusion of this season have shown that the Islanders are still a tone-deaf organization. The changes that came with Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin taking over the franchise have been nonexistent in regard to the on-ice product, aka the most important part of the franchise. It has become more of the same.
The arrogance that this organization has excluded over the previous few days has been mind boggling. The first coming from Garth Snow. His statement about the team he inherited in 2006 was an insult to everyone’s intelligence. He took over the team almost 12 years ago. There is not a single player left in the organization from before he was hired. In fact Frans Nielson and Blake Comeau are the only players even in the league (they played a combined 18 games). Mike Bossy could fit his ENTIRE Hall of Fame career into the Snow administration for the Islanders. The fact that he could without a doubt say he deserves to keep his job is an extreme lack of self-awareness, or worse organizational awareness. This was not the time to be defiant, this is a time for reflection. The defiance makes it seem that Snow believes he has been successful in his role over the previous 12 years. There is almost no debate, the answer to that question is a resounding no.
Jon Ledecky’s moment has come and gone. This was the moment he could have said the Islanders are a new organization. Instead, we are writing another chapter of incompetence into Islanders history. If he has full faith in Snow going forward, tell us. Most fans would disagree with that assessment but it would at least be definitive. We are looking for answers, this half assed statement about things being evaluated is not going to cut it. The evaluation process should have already been completed. The Tuesday statement only made matters worse. We get it, you got the Belmont site to build an arena and we are happy the Islanders finally have a long term home. But let’s ask the fans in Edmonton and Detroit (both with new arenas in the last two years) how satisfied they were with their seasons. To use a local example; no matter how nice Citi Field is, when the Mets were awful nobody went. Loyalty and passion are a two-way street. Islander fans have proven that they will be passionate when provided with the slightest bit of hope. The commitment to working with the fanbase this season is admirable, but that only goes so far. If you want to be credited for the successes of this organization, you must also be the first person in line to handle the failures. This was not done this week.
In comparison, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton not only held a press conference to discuss the firing of Alain Vigneault, but he also went on both afternoon sports talk shows in New York to discuss the decision and the state of the Rangers moving forward. The lack of transparency and accountability will continue to hinder this team moving forward. It’s a sad day when you look at a Charles Dolan run team as an improvement.
This week the Isles didn’t live up to even the most pessimistic fans expectations. They managed to take a decision most people would be upset about and further irritated them. Which is a special talent. Any thought that this organization has changed with the new ownership has effectively gone out the window. They held a press conference that said nothing except 12 years is not enough to to build a credible hockey team (even though Vegas has been more successful in just 1 year). Afterwards they realized they forgot to remind us about the arena deal they made four months ago, so they put out a special release to remind us. This is not my breaking point, but I understand how it can be for someone else.