New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow has a good chance of seeing his job status change this summer. Maybe he will move up the corporate ladder. Maybe he will be shown the door. But there will probably be change.
The one fan-leveled charge against Garth Snow that seems to stick, that seems to have acquired its own mythology, is that Snow either is, or needs to be seen as, the “smartest guy in the room.” And that’s what’s hurting the New York Islanders.
Ten plus years of decision making is a long record, and I can’t be sure who was literally in the room when any of these things came to pass. So for the sake of accuracy, let us judge Garth Snow against the prevailing fan sentiment when he made his moves.
Let’s see how often he was smarter than you.
New York Islanders
Gimme, Gimme, Gimmes
He started off with a couple of gimmes. He was smart enough to convince Charles Wang that he deserved to be the General Manager of the New York Islanders. Even if you count it as a dumb move by Wang, it’s still a victory for Snow.
And he was apparently the lone organizational voice against giving Rick DiPietro a fifteen-year contract. It was a move so dumb, the NHL had to legislate against it happening again.
Some of you applauded that move. Garth Snow is smarter than you.
Three-quarters of the way through that first season, Snow surprised the hockey world by acquiring Ryan Smith for three lumps of crap at the trade deadline.
There were fans of the New York Islanders who stood up at the time and accused Snow of being Milbury, of giving away “all of our good young future”. But Smyth got the Isles into the playoffs, and the three guys going the other way crapped out. Two of the guys Snow had been on the ice with as a player six month earlier. He KNEW they were garbage.
Unbelievably, there are still Garth-haters out there who say this was a bad deal for the Isles. If you disagreed at the time, Garth is smarter than you. If you decry the deal now, a soap dish is smarter than you.
Remember Evgeni Nabokov? Detroit signed him mid-season and tried to sneak him through waivers. Everyone thought it was a mere formality, except Garth Snow, who claimed him. And when he refused to report. you all ran around like chickens with your head cut off. “This is an embarrassment”, “Snow is incompetent”.
But Garth Snow knew what you didn’t. That he could toll the contract. And it’s time for you to admit, that before this incident you had never heard of the concept of tolling a contract. You didn’t even know it was possible.
Garth Snow did. Because he is smarter than you.
And Lubomir Visnovsky. For all your proclamations about how he will never report, Garth not only got him, he extended him. And all that nonsense about how he was never coming back from his mysterious time in Europe? You spread the nonsense, Garth got his player.
Garth is so smart, you should really back down now.
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OG Draft King
Every time Garth moves up in the first round of the draft, you say he is wasting assets. Admit it, you do. “He moved up to 12, and then picked DEHAAN?!?!?!” You wanted Kulikov, fool. Garth took the better player.
He moved up for Brock Nelson, a player we know has warts. Oh, let’s face it, some days he is just a big wart. But he is the 10th leading goal scorer from that draft, and nobody from the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round has scored more.
In 2014 he moved up for Josh Ho-Sang, who you said was an entitled spoiled child. In 2015, he moved up for Anthony Beauvillier, who you said might have a shot as a 4th liner way-way-way down the road.
You know nothing. Garth knows all.
And you still thought Griffin Reinhart had potential, didn’t you? Garth knew. Hello, Matthew Barzal.
And it’s not just that Garth sees what is, he sees what will be.
Garth Snow makes a signature comment about each first round draft pick either at the draft or as they show up for their first camp. He’s a mystic, I tells ya.
Upon drafting Josh Bailey, “He should get used to seeing Kyle Okposo. They’re going to play together a long, long time” And indeed they did, only a year less than Bossy played on the same team as Gillies.
Upon Nino’s first Camp. Garth was asked about rumors of character issues. “The only issue is that he has too much of it”
Upon Strome’s first camp “We drafted him knowing he was a longer term project”
Upon drafting Ho-Sang… something about the mutuality of defecation-related events…
Garth Snow eats you up and spits you out. He is Harvard, and you are Rydell High.
Remember when you said this?, “Leddy is ok, but I can’t believe he gave up Ville Pokka. That guy is going to be really solid”
He didn’t sign Towes OR Gregoire? Why doesn’t he get off his (ample posterior) and help this team? “Kichton is exactly what we need. Garth is a fool.” You said all of these, didn’t you? Want to recall a few more, New York Islanders Fans?
“Ullstrom is the perfect power forward for this team. The way Snow treats him is criminal”
“Jesse Joensuu would produce if they gave him a chance. Why is Garth too stupid to see that?”
And you, yes, YOU, Islander fan spent this season not acknowledging how much smarter Garth is. You begged him to get Halak off this roster… until you begged him to take him back. Oh, you are some kind of genius.
Now I hear that Ho-Sang should have been brought up earlier to “save” the season. Maybe, just maybe, Ho-Sang’s revitalizing play is a result of having spent six months in the AHL. I don’t know that, and can’t prove it. I’m not that smart.
What I’m saying here is that neither are you.
Nothing herein should be construed as an endorsement of the management of Garth Snow. His tenure is largely a failure. It’s just that, well, he is smarter than you.