Editorials

New York Islanders: It’s Time To Fire Garth Snow

By Matt O'Leary
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: (l-r) Charles Wang and Garth Snow attend the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: (l-r) Charles Wang and Garth Snow attend the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The New York Islanders are in the midst of a free fall in the Eastern Conference and now is the perfect time to finally hold Garth Snow accountable.

12 years is a long time to stay at one job, especially when you work in sports where job turnover happens at almost a constant rate. That’s how long Garth Snow has been the New York Islanders General Manager, 12 years.

In order to last that long at a job in sports, you have to display an ability to win, especially in New York. Tom Coughlin coached the Giants to two Super Bowl victories over his 12 years coaching the Giants. Garth Snow hasn’t had anything close to that success, yet he still holds his position with little pressure.

Since he’s taken over the Islanders have been brutally mediocre, with one playoff series win to their name. Yeah, I can go back and pinpoint different points over the past 12 years showing where Garth should’ve been fired. But, let’s focus on the now.

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Snow’s made some good moves like trading for Jordan Eberle, but when you look at free agent signings and drafting Garth’s missed more often than not. The team has had inept goalie play in net all year and he hasn’t done anything, he lost two of his top three defensemen and hasn’t done anything and don’t even get me started on the lackluster third line.

Garth’s sat on his hands for far too long and yesterday was a breaking point. He signed Scott Mayfield to a five-year contract extension. There’s a lot of mixed feeling on that deal, some point out how Mayfield is a fine d-man and that eats up some free agent years at a reasonable cost.

I don’t see it that way. To me, it shows that Garth Snow just doesn’t get it and he never will. That’d be like owning a car that needs brakes and a new transmission and the first thing you do is get an oil change. Why? It’s not necessary, the car can still function without an oil change but it can’t without a transmission and brakes.

The love affair with locking up depth players long term is baffling. It does nothing to help the Islanders win this year, which they should be doing or attempting to do because John Tavares can walk at the end of the year.

After last night’s loss head coach Doug Weight said that he liked the team’s effort in the third and said that it was “the best loss of the season”. I ripped him because now isn’t the time for moral victories.

Despite my disagreement with Weight’s post-game theory I still like him as a coach and I think he’s earned the benefit of the doubt as it’s still his first full year with him behind the bench. The jury’s still out on Dougie and I think he deserves the opportunity to show that he can improve at this level.

Snow’s proven himself time and time again what he is. He’s a wizard when it comes to trades and creating average rosters that are fringe playoff teams. Hitting on high draft picks and finding a free agent on a reasonable contract that helps the team, both essential things to building a championship caliber team, not so much.

With the Islanders season now hanging in the balance, if I’m Jon Ledecky I make a move and try to shake things up. Something as simple as making Chris Lamoriello the interim GM would work for me.

Here’s why now’s the time, you still have to convince John Tavares that the Islanders are trying to win. Right now it looks like how things have looked for the last five year, mediocrity. If Garth’s held accountable and Ledecky can say to John that he wasn’t happy with the underachieving under Garth it sends a message that this ownership is doing everything it can to win.

They locked up Belmont which is great, but you’re not gonna get any butts in the seats if John Tavares is elsewhere with another mediocre roster in 2020 with Garth Snow at the helm, for now, a decade and a half.

Next: The Islanders Drop Their Fourth In A Row

Enough is enough, fans are tired of it, I’m tired of it. In all likelihood, Garth’s not getting fired today or anytime soon, but he should. The Garth Snow GM story is without exaggeration one of the oddest stories in sports history. Let’s close this nightmarish chapter to the story.

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