New York Islanders: Playoffs or Not, Snow Will Go, JT Will Stay

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 16: Adam Pelech
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 16: Adam Pelech

Regardless of how this season concludes for the New York Islanders, there will most certainly be some major changes coming to the franchise this summer. With the controversy surrounding this team at an all-time high, the fanbase is losing faith.

First off, a tip of the cap to our colleagues in Isles-land for their impressive billboard campaign. Getting the amount of support that you did in the short amount of time that it took was incredible. The New York Islanders fanbase finally had something real to rally around. It had been a while, and it felt amazing. Thank you!

On to more pressing matters. Last night the Isles looked pretty darn good shutting out their crosstown rivals the New York Rangers. Jaroslav Halak got the goose-egg but the Islanders once again allowed him to face fifty shots. Luckily, Jaro was on his game last night and the good guys prevailed.

We are all very familiar with the John Tavares situation as well as the conundrum Garth Snow has gotten himself wrapped up in. No matter how the Isles finish out the season this year, playoffs or not, there are a handful of changes coming.

New York Islanders have given Snow too many breaks, it’s time to move on

This is New York. Joe Torre was the manager of the Yankees for eleven years and won five World Series titles in the 90s and early 2000s. He was then shown the door after a couple of stagnant seasons. This is a “what have you done for me lately” town.

Legendary New York Football Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was at the helm of one of the most respected franchises in North America for twelve years and won two Super Bowls in his time. In a very similar situation, the Giants decided that Coughlin’s message went stale and moved on too.

Garth Snow has been here for twelve seasons too. Except, he has just one playoff series victory to show for all of his “hard work”. How he’s kept his job for this long is one of the mysteries that will be baffling generations of Islanders fans for years to come. Mr. Ouija, tell us Mr. Snow’s future.

The New York Islanders could win every remaining game this season, go 16-0 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, win the Stanley Cup, and Garth Snow would still lose his job at the conclusion of the year. Personally, I give his chances of staying on as Isles GM as zero-percent. Not a chance.

And that was before the fanbase funded two billboards on Flatbush Ave. calling for nothing short of Snow’s head on a spike outside the Barclays Center, medieval times style. While Jon Ledecky and Co. will likely not go to those lengths, Snow’s time has run out.

John Tavares will return to the New York Islanders next year

This is old news to readers of Eyes on Isles, but there is still a pocket of fans who truly believe John Tavares will not be re-signing with the New York Islanders this offseason. So I figured I’d briefly make my case once again, just to alleviate any concerns there still are.

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Tavares has come out publicly, on many occasions, and practically proclaimed his undying devotion to this franchise and its long-suffering fan base. He could have taken the route that countless other free-agents-to-be have taken across all major sports, but he didn’t.

Erik Karlsson has made it very clear that he will not be taking anything less than his full market value and has no loyalties in the matter. You can’t really blame a professional athlete for taking this type of route. We’ve seen it a million times before and we’ll see it again.

As much as fans hate to acknowledge it, this is a business and these players risk their long-term health year after year for their hard-earned paychecks. Would any of you stick your neck out for your job/company and subject yourselves to potentially harmful work environments and then NOT want to get compensated fairly for all of your hard work?

The simple fact that Tavares has made it abundantly clear that he wants to stay here should be all we need to hear. The New York Islanders ownership group has gone great lengths to give this franchise a total re-haul. Tavares sees all of this. The conclusion of this season will not be the deciding factor for Tavares. The direction of the franchise, long-term, will be.

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From the Isles new practice facility to the new arena at Belmont, to the stable full of elite prospects, it’s obvious they’re creating a new culture for this team. A winning culture. One that almost definitely will not include Garth Snow next season, but will include our fearless leader, John Tavares.