The New York Islanders are less than even money to make the playoffs, heading into tonight’s game against their cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers. If they don’t changes will be made. There is a lot on the line for many in the organization.
Garth Snow has been the New York Islanders General Manager for over a decade (since the summer of 2006). After making the playoffs during Snow’s first year on the job, the franchise entered a massive rebuild.
Snow has done a good job rebuilding the organization, although it did take quite some time. The franchise has strong depth both on the NHL roster and in the prospect pipeline.
However, the team has yet to take that next big step and become a contender. It’s common knowledge the Islanders ownership tandem of Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky have been searching for a President of the organization since early last summer.
If the Islanders fail to make the playoffs and hire a new President, Snow’s days as Isles GM are probably over. A new President will want to bring in his own guy to sit in the GM’s chair.
New York Islanders
While Doug Weight has done a really good job since taking over the team in late January, it’s very up in the air if he returns. If a new General Manager takes over, just as with the new President, that hire will want his own man, behind the bench.
Good chance Weight’s fortunes are tied to Snow. Although not necessarily fair, this can sometimes happen in any line of work.
A new General Manager is going to have a new look at the organization, and also will have his own thoughts on how to make the Isles a contender. That doesn’t mean wholesale changes would be in store but moves will be made.
Three candidates are probably in the cross hairs more than anyone else in the organization. They are Travis Hamonic, Ryan Strome, and Brock Nelson. For different reasons all three very easily could be moved this off-season.
Hamonic, while not having his best year is a solid second pairing defenseman who is only 26 and signed for the next three years with just a $3.86 million cap hit. With the depth the Islanders have on defense in all likelihood trading a valuable blue liner will either consist of Hamonic or Ryan Pulock.
After a poor start, Strome has saved his season with his second-half play. Currently, Strome has 13 goals and 30 points. While Strome has yet to get back to the level of his first full NHL season, remember he only turns 24 this summer.
Nelson with a strong finish has a chance to finish for the third straight season with at least 20 goals (has 16 goals & 38 points). However, his erratic play has been maddening to watch. The former first-round pick only turns 26 at the start of next season and like Strome has a friendly cap number.
With Josh Ho-Sang and Anthony Beauvillier already on the big club and Mathew Barzal, Michael Dal Colle, and Kiefer Bellows knocking on the NHL door, Strome and Nelson could be falling down the depth chart in the near future.
A lot is at stake for many in the Islanders organization over the next three weeks to cap off the NHL regular season.