New York Islanders President Job LaFontaine’s To Lose

By Eric Vogel
Mar 24, 2015; Uniondale, NY, USA; Former Islander Pat LaFontaine waves to the crowd prior to the Islanders
Mar 24, 2015; Uniondale, NY, USA; Former Islander Pat LaFontaine waves to the crowd prior to the Islanders /

Arthur Staple from Newsday reported on Friday that the New York Islanders majority owners might be quietly vetting people for the position of Team President.

Of the 30 (soon to be 31) teams in the NHL, the New York Islanders are 1 of 5 that do not have different people in the role of GM and President. And with Arthur Staples latest report the Isles are looking to make that number go down to four.

The motive for this potential move by ownership remains to be seen. It could be the beginning of a management overhaul. It could be an attempt to take some of the business side of things off Garth Snow’s plate so he can concentrate on the personnel side of things.

In my personal opinion, this feels like a red herring to me. I think ownership has no intention of changing their GM or coach in the middle of the season, but don’t want to be seen as sitting still.

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This kind of move would have the virtue of saying to the fan base that they are working toward accountability without blowing things up in the middle of a season.

Of the two names mentioned by Staple, Brad Richards and Pat LaFontaine, neither has experience as a team president. It may sound petty, but I doubt the fan base would be able to stomach hiring a former Ranger for the top management position in the organization so my money is on LaFontaine.

A hometown hero, LaFontaine spent some of the best seasons of his playing career with the Islanders. Adding him has the potential to temporarily assuage some of the angst of long-suffering fans, just in case this winning streak doesn’t go on forever.

Additionally, he represents someone who has experience working in a variety of roles both for the league and for various teams.

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I still think this is all much-a-do-about-nothing, but if I take the report at face value, Pat LaFontaine is the best fit. Assuming he and Richards are the only two being seriously considered.