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New York Islanders: Change for the Sake of Change

By Kate Eliou
EAST MEADOW, NY - AUGUST 29: New York Islanders owner Jon Ledecky addresses the guests during the New York Islanders memorial service for Al Arbour on August 29, 2016 in East Meadow, New York. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)
EAST MEADOW, NY - AUGUST 29: New York Islanders owner Jon Ledecky addresses the guests during the New York Islanders memorial service for Al Arbour on August 29, 2016 in East Meadow, New York. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images) /
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It’s no secret that the New York Islanders need new management but just how desperate have they become?

Since the end of the 2017-2018 season, rumors have been flying about how New York Islanders ownership will handle their management. The situation has become somewhat dire over the past couple of months, as made clear by the fans decision to fund billboards to express their discontent. We can only hope that the message has been received: Garth Snow must go.

But who will replace him? With the events of the offseason so far, there seem to be a lot of options. Several teams like the Minnesota Wild and the Carolina Hurricanes have made serious changes to their staff, leaving many known hockey executives open for poaching. Most notably, Lou Lamoriello left his position as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and has been recently linked to the New York Islanders in terms of finding a new job in the hockey world.

However exciting this may seem, there are several problems with Lamoriello. It could be argued that he didn’t have much to do with the recent change in the Leafs’ production. Instead, he has been labeled as the figurehead for the organization while a much younger Kyle Dubas (now Toronto’s new manager) was much more hands-on behind the scenes. This left Lamoriello open to criticism for his other work around the league.

In short, this change might not be all that it’s cracked up to be for the New York Islanders.

This same argument could be made for any of the possible suitors that have appeared in the past few months. I don’t begrudge Islanders fans’ precaution; after over a decade of work ranging from mediocrity to incompetence, it’s hard not to be picky when it comes to Garth Snow’s replacement.

However, let’s not turn everyone away just yet. Any change could be positive change at this point. Although I’m not usually a fan of knee-jerk reactions, the Islanders have been stewing in Snow’s aftermath long enough to know that it’s time for big changes and quite honestly, a replacement would be satisfying just because it would signal that ownership is listening.

While Malkin and Ledecky have handled the arena situation well, they have yet to show any sense when it comes to running a team. They seem to be content with shoo-shooing any on ice problems and excusing it with a “managers manage, coaches coach” rhetoric. Now is their time to prove they can really build a team.

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Any change in management would be proof to Islanders fans that ownership is working beyond just their evaluations that happen behind closed doors and go nowhere. No available option is going to be perfect; they’re available for a reason. But until the perfect candidate comes along, the Islanders cannot face another season with Snow. At this point, any change for the sake of change is good.

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