July 18th, 2018, marks the day 12 years ago that New York Islanders goalie Garth Snow retired as a player to become the team’s General Manager. A position he, thankfully, no longer holds.
On July 18th, 2006 New York Islanders goalie Garth Snow retired as a player. He was immediately hired as the team’s fifth General Manager in team history. Oddly it was a just over a month after predecessor Neil Smith was hired for the job.
For eleven years after being hired Garth Snow sat at the top of the New York Islanders franchise. For eleven years, Garth Snow was the team’s GM and President of Hockey Operations.
Today would have marked his 12th anniversary in the position. Thankfully, Lou Lamoriello removed him from his position on June 5th, 2018. Garth Snow won’t’ be celebrating that particular milestone.
Career of Mediocrity
In his twelve NHL seasons in charge of the New York Islanders between 2006-07 to 2017-18 Garth Snow’s held a 425-403-122 record through 950 games. He made the playoffs on four occasions and missed them in eight seasons winning a single playoff round in the process.
That series win against the Florida Panthers in 2016 will go up on Garth’s wall as one of his few achievements with the Islanders. The others being; drafting John Tavares first overall in 2009 and then besting Peter Chiarelli in a trade.
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That’s it. That’s what Garth Snow has to show for his 12 years managing the New York Islanders. He won a single playoff round, made a brain-dead simple decision at the draft to take without question the best player available, and bested the only GM worse than him in a trade.
Meanwhile, Garth tried and failed to rebuild the Islanders. Between 2009 and 2014 he drafted five top-five prospects. Selecting John Tavares (1st-2009), Nino Niederreiter (5th-2010), Ryan Strome (5th 2011), Griffin Reinhart (4th-2012), Michael Dal Colle (5th-2014).
As of today, only Michael Dal Colle is still with the team. And he has yet to make it to the NHL. (Yes. He played four games in 2017-18, but I don’t count that. Nor should you)
Garth’s legacy with the Islanders will be how he failed to bring success to the Islanders. His legacy will be tarnished with a failed 12 season rebuild, holding three goalies at the same time over two seasons, and terrible free agent signings. Amongst other things.
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So today, on what should be Garth’s 12 year on the job, fans celebrate a non-anniversary.