With rumors circulating about Tom Fitzgerald and the New York Islanders, today we’ll look at his credentials as a General Manager.
With the 17th pick in the 1986 NHL Draft, the New York Islanders selected Tom Fitzgerald. Fitz spent the first five years of his NHL career on Long Island before heading over to the Florida Panthers in 1993.
Fitzgerald went on to play through the 2005-2006 season, playing in over 1,000 games and putting up 329 points along the way.
Now rumors have Fitzy heading back to the Islanders this time to serve as a General Manager, 25 years after he initially left. Today, we’ll take a look at his credentials, and if he’s a serviceable option as a G.M.
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In 2007 he joined the Pittsburgh Penguins as the Director of Player Development. He remained in this role through the 2009 season, the year the Penguins won the Stanley Cup.
After that season, Fitzgerald was promoted to Assistant General Manager. From 2009-2015 he was the assistant to Ray Shero and Jim Rutherford. During that time the Penguins were in the playoffs each and every year.
The furthest the team went was to the Conference Final in 2012-2013 before losing to the Boston Bruins. Fitzgerald has firsthand experience with a winning organization and an organization who hasn’t missed the playoffs since Mathew Barzal was nine years old.
After he left Pittsburgh in 2015 he moved onto the New Jersey Devils. He currently serves as the Assistant General Manager of the surprising playoff team of 2018. New Jersey went from 84 and 70 point seasons to a 97 point season this year.
They’re growing faster than expected. Now, with Jersey’s success, it’s rumored that the Islanders are waiting for the Devils to be eliminated before talking to Fitzgerald. In theory, this certainly seems possible.
But at the same time why would they hold on to Garth for now and wait to fire him once the Devils lose. It’s perfectly okay to have a vacant position for the time being.
I hope this is true, I think Fitzgerald would be a great addition to the front office. Especially because he’d have ties to Dan Bylsma who could be brought in as the next coach. Again, these are just your typical internet rumors but it certainly doesn’t hurt to look into the potential options.