(4) Josh Ho-Sang to AHL v. (5) Billboards
I honestly thought the billboards, what with the recency of them going up would win the vote. I truly did. So it surprised me to see that Josh Ho-Sang being sent to the AHL at the start of the season won the vote. (Not by much, but it still won.)
Why didn’t the billboards win? Maybe it’s because some fans don’t think a billboard in-and-of-itself can affect change. They aren’t wrong. I don’t think anyone, from the people who thought up the idea to the people who gave their money, thought it would force Garth Snow out on its own.
But what they did think was that they could have their voices heard. And with that, they were absolutely spot on and succeeded without a shadow of a doubt.
So why did Ho-Sang win? Probably because as Islanders fans we’ve been down this road before. The road is called “Nino Niederreiter for Cal Clutterbuck”. It’s a long name for a road, I know. But the point is clear.
As Islanders fans, we’ve seen this organization draft talent players but fail at bringing them into the mix at the professional level. Only to see them succeed elsewhere. Just like they did with Nino.
A player, drafted in the top five, whom the organization alienated from day one. It got so bad that Nino wanted out and used the only option he had, a trade request. Garth obliged, sending him to Minnesota for Cal Clutterbuck.
Cal’s a good player for the fourth line. But Nino is a 57 point player at the NHL level. The closest Cal ever got to that number was a 34 point season in 2010-11. Seven years ago.
Fans voted Ho-Sang as the more important issue likely because it’s the embodiment of how this franchise hasn’t learned from its mistakes and is doomed to repeat them.