It’s been a very up and down year for the New York Islanders. Heading into Saturday’s action somehow, someway the Isles occupy the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Garth Snow’s future has been called into question again. What are the factors for his future?
It’s no secret if the fan base of the New York Islanders got to decide Garth Snow‘s future what the decision would be. However, no one has a feel what the ownership duo of Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky are thinking.
If the Isles miss the playoffs for a second straight year will ownership be looking for a new GM? Let’s look at the factors in play.
This Year’s Team
Very few NHL insiders predicted the Isles would make the playoffs this year especially in a very deep Metropolitan division. The Isles also have gone through a number of injuries especially to key blue liners in Johnny Boychuk and Calvin de Haan.
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However, this year’s Isles club is still plagued by past years problems that include inconsistency, bad starts, and holding on to leads. All of these factors have risen during the Snow regime.
All teams go through injuries so that is no excuse. While Jaroslav Halak has played better lately as a whole the goaltending has been sub-standard this season and all of that falls directly on Garth’s plate.
In terms of looking at the organization from a big picture perspective, there have been many positives to check off in Garth’s favor. The play of Mathew Barzal, the trade of Jordan Eberle, and to a lesser extent Anthony Beauvillier‘s play in the second-half all are huge feathers in Garth’s cap.
In terms of the prospects down below Kieffer Bellows, Robin Salo, Devon Toews (before the injury), and Ilya Sorokin (if they could ever get him out of Russia) all are having big years and their futures look very bright. However, Josh Ho-Sang continues to be inconsistent and Michael Dal Colle still needs to work on his game before becoming an NHL regular.
An interesting question is if the Isles fail to make the playoffs and Garth is let go, what effect if any would that have on John Tavares staying with the Isles?
The players are very loyal to Garth. Remember Snow called Travis Hamonic “his little brother” after getting traded to Calgary.
Tavares and Garth’s relationship is about to hit ten years and by all indications that have a really good bond. Obviously, the captain is taking everything in before making his decision to either re-sign with the Isles or go elsewhere come July 1st. If Garth is let go right after the season would that tip the scales at all?
If the Tavares situation was not in play and the Isles failed to make the playoffs, then ownership would be wise to look for a new GM. Since the Tavares negotiations are very much ongoing at this time, how wise would it be to change the GM right after the season?
If I was making the call on Snow’s future that has to put on the back burner until JT makes his decision.