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New York Islanders Look Bad As Minnesota Wild Change GM

ST PAUL, MN - JULY 9: Chuck Fletcher, general manager of the Minnesota Wild speaks during a press conference to introduce Zach Parise
ST PAUL, MN - JULY 9: Chuck Fletcher, general manager of the Minnesota Wild speaks during a press conference to introduce Zach Parise
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The New York Islanders have had weeks now to look over their disappointing 2017-18 season and draft a course of action. They’ve still done nothing, while other teams act decisively. Must be nice.

The New York Islanders have been season ended on April 7th, 2018 and still, they sit with the same GM they’ve had for twelve years. Better yet, the Islanders were eliminated from the playoffs on March 26th and still, they sit with the same GM some two months later.

The Minnesota Wild waited a full three days from the moment they were eliminated from the playoffs to part ways with their GM. They didn’t fire him, they just aren’t renewing his deal and keeping him longer than the nine years he’s already been in with the Wild.

It’s a frankly embarrassing look for the New York Islanders. The Wild were unmistakenly decisive in their approach while the Islanders sit and ponder the next move.

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Assess Everything

After losing to the Winnipeg Jets in five games, the Minnesota Wild bowed out of the first round for the fourth time in six years. They’ve only passed the first round three times in their 17-year history. That was enough for Owner Craig Leipold to pull the plug on GM Chuck Fletcher. A man who’s been in the job for nine years now.

"“I like Chuck. Probably more than I like Chuck, I respect him tremendously. I didn’t decide on this definitely until a couple of days ago. In our new practice facility, we have a motto. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door: ‘Good is not good enough.’ I went through the practice facility about two weeks ago, and I felt that was a signal for me. It starts with me.”"

"“I wanted to wait until the end of the year to assess everything, to understand how I feel about where we’re going. Are we still in the window to win the Stanley Cup? I believe we are. He believed we are. But my personal feeling was that I wanted someone new to come in and kind of shake it up.”"

It must be nice to have an owner that takes action to rectify and try to improve the on-ice product. The Islanders have been out of the postseason for almost a full month now and they still haven’t decided what they’re going to do going forward. Within days the Wild have made a clear call.

The Wild have been to the playoffs six years in a row. They’ve put up a 356-265-80 record with Fletcher at the helm in nine years. The Wild have had some good years. The same can’t be said for the Islanders, but yet we keep our GM. For what? A long contract and because he was able to get Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome in a trade?

Great, Garth is able to hoodwink a worse GM than him and has the best agent in the game. But when it comes to winning he just can’t get the job done. Which, you know, is the most important part of the job.

The Waiting Game

Wild Owner Craig Leipold even used the term “assess” when discussing why he decided to do this now. He wanted to take the time to look things over and make the right call by waiting until the end of the season. What are the Islanders waiting for exactly? For some of these other names they’ve been linked to become available in maybe June?

Sure the scouting staff won’t stop working until the owners make a decision, but they’ll be taking orders from Garth rather than whatever new guy is sitting in the chair later. That’s a clear issue. The way Garth prioritizes a draft or what his scouts are looking for will be different than the next guy. And with two lottery-bound picks at the draft, the Isles can’t waste this year’s entry draft.

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Playing the waiting game isn’t the way to solve the issue of bad management. Other organizations are doing the smart thing and trying to get their ducks in a row as early as possible. The Islanders are simply sitting and waiting or are stalling to inevitably do nothing. Either way, it’s lose-lose for the Isles.

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