The date is April 9th. Another failed season had just concluded, and the events that would ensue would change the fate of the New York Islanders franchise.
Garth Snow reclined at a table with a New York Islanders cloth draped over it with Jon Ledecky and Doug Weight on his sides. A feeling of embarrassment swept over the room. The three men sitting at that table knew they had let an entire fanbase down.
Jon Ledecky offered a brief statement that mainly blamed others, claimed that the team had a strong group of players, and said he would evaluate his organization later in the offseason. Ledecky exited the stage after refusing to take questions.
At this moment, all signs were pointing to another painful season with Weight and Snow at the helm. Two men whos utter incompetence would continue to plague this organization. So much so that it could lead to John Tavares’ departure.
Outrage Leads to Change
Following the press conference, the Islanders offered a series of apologies for how this press conference was conducted. Fans were outraged. How could the Islanders continue to make the same mistakes that they have made for 12 years?
This time, the same mistakes would cost the Islanders years of potential success. John Tavares leaving would cause years of rebuilding and many long seasons of pain and anguish.
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Scott Malkin decided he was not going to let this happen, however. He made a monumental decision that could be one of the best in the history of this franchise. Malkin hired a hero, one that the Islanders desperately needed and deserved: Lou Lamoriello.
All Hail Lou
Lou Lamoriello is a God. No exaggeration.
This guy is the greatest thing to happen to the New York Islanders since the Dynasty era. In April, the Islanders were struggling to make changes, had a fanbase that was about to riot, and was at risk of losing their greatest player in 30 years.
It is now June, and the Islanders have taken a complete 180-degree turn. Prior to Lamoriello’s hiring, the Islanders had not begun negations with Tavares. Everyone around the NHL thought it was a fact that he would leave the Islanders.
Lou, on the other hand, won’t let the Islanders become a laughing stock. He is doing everything he can to ensure Tavares is an Islander next season. According to Darren Dreger, Lamoriello met with Tavares prior to joining the Islanders, and Lou has been talking with Tavares every day for weeks.
Lamoriello also made sure he disposed of the trash and promptly fired Weight and Snow. Currently, Weight is in Michigan with his son, and according to Arthur Staple, Garth Snow will disappear. Both men will have no roles with the Islanders next year.
Take a second to realize how difficult this must have been. Snow and Lamoriello have been friends for years and Snow hired Lamoriello’s son and gave him a chance in the Islanders front office. It would have been easy to let Snow stick around, but Lamoriello is fully committed to a full culture change.
Doug Weight’s firing has left a hole at the head coaching spot, and in classic Lamoriello fashion, Lou is going after the biggest fish in the water. Barry Trotz would be a pipe dream for the Islanders with any other man leading the way, but with Lou, this is possible.
Trotz has not begun negotiations with Washington and the Islanders are the only team without a head coach. In a podcast, Arthur Staple said that Trotz is the top option for Lamoriello. It might seem hard to believe, but this can actually happen.
Lou is doing other great things too. Rumors are circulating that the Islanders are favorites to land Philipp Grubauer. The Islanders have four picks in the top two rounds and Lou has stated he will use them as trade bait to build the best team possible. Erik Karlsson is even being mentioned as a possible trade option.
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It might seem like I am drinking the Isles Kool-Aid, but take a moment to realize how lucky Islanders fans are. Lou Lamoriello is a world-class hockey executive who will do everything he can to turn the Islanders into a winner.
Life is good.