An open letter to the Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky for putting their money where their mouth is for the New York Islanders this offseason.
Dear Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky,
For my 23 plus years on this planet, the New York Islanders have been a laughing stock. Over that time, the Islanders had an owner with no money, a General Manager in Mike Milbury who made ridiculous trades like it was going out of style, a backup goalie promoted to General Manager directly after retiring, all while only one playoff series win was accomplished.
When the team was bought in 2014, it presented marginal hope that things would begin to change. The Islanders actually experienced some success directly after the purchase. The final year at the Coliseum was a fun one, while the next year presented the Isles in a different arena and their first playoff series win in 23 years.
The next two years that followed were disappointing though. The next step after winning a round was to get this team over the hump and in the Eastern Conference Final and even the Stanley Cup Final.
Instead, the team missed the playoffs in back to back years. I must admit, seeing Mr. Ledecky ride the train the last couple of years with fans with his patented big smile on his face seemed a little tone deaf.
While the Islanders continued to struggle on the ice it seemed like the plan was to have Mr. Ledecky as the glorified mascot, as if to say “Hey, our owner rides the train too, he’s a regular Joe just like the fans are.”
It appeared that there was this false mirage being presented that everything was fine and going to plan, and even at the end of the year press conference it felt the same way when Garth Snow and Doug Weight were left at the podium to fend for themselves after a brief statement from Mr. Ledecky.
We couldn’t be more wrong.
The status quo changed once Lou Lamoriello was brought in here and given permission to run the hockey operations however he saw fit. Garth would be removed from his post, and replaced by Lou Lamoriello. That’s on you guys. You ponied up and got the best General Manager available, but it didn’t stop there.
Now, as of yesterday, the Islanders added the best coach available in Barry Trotz. In the span of a couple of weeks, the team went from one of the worst GM and coaching duos to one of the best and that’s all because of your willingness to do whatever it took to not only get John Tavares to stay, but also to compete.
Any criticism that was flung from my direction was misguided, it was simply coming out of a place of impatientness. Over the last 25 years, fans haven’t had much to get excited about, but that’s all changed in the past two months.
It truly seems like the Islanders are all in on retaining John Tavares, and also doing everything possible to put this team in the best position to win.
So on behalf of myself, this website, and Islanders fans everywhere I’d like to thank you guys for bringing stability to this franchise and putting your money where your mouth is. Hopefully, we can celebrate John Tavares deciding to stay in the coming days.