Islanders: History vs. Garth Snow: The Finale
By Ryan Grosso
Today we close the book on the Garth Snow saga. In this series, I’ve looked at the good, the bad, and the ugly. Today, I’m going to look at the impact of Garth Snow’s executive career on the New York Islanders in the present and future.
Garth Snow‘s executive career spanned eleven seasons from July 2006 to June 2018. In that time he left an indelible mark on the New York Islanders as a franchise. Let’s look at how that impact is holding through the team’s second season in the post-Snow era.
This is the conclusion of a four-part series on the Islanders former GM you can read the other three here: The Good | The Bad | The Ugly
Remember that Garth still supposedly works for the Islanders in some capacity, per the organization. What that capacity is has never really been elaborated on, and there has been almost zero news on his role since his demotion from the general manager position. He doesn’t even feature on the team website’s management and coaching page.
As I noted in the first edition of this series, Garth built a large portion of the 2019-20 Islanders roster.
17 players on the active roster are products of the Snow era. You can argue whether deals for those players fell into his lap, but that’s not really the point. I agree with many of you that Garth built a roster with potential. We’ve seen what that potential can do under good coaching.
But, let’s be honest, the former Islanders GM also made some incredible gaffes that are still affecting the organization. Andrew Ladd‘s immovable contract is the big one that I see. Ladd’s $5.5 million AAV contract will run until 2022-23.
This season is the last in which Ladd will hold a full no-trade-clause. Next year the NTC is modified, which could possibly make him movable.
Perhaps the Islanders could strike a deal with Ron Francis, GM of the new Seattle franchise, in 2021-22? After all, Snow was able to send Mikhail Grabovski and a heap of others to Vegas for “expansion considerations” in June of 2017.
It’s a possibility, though whether Francis is willing to follow the same route as George McPhee did obviously remains to be seen. This is, however, one of the only ways I could see the Islanders dumping Ladd’s cap hit.
But all that’s left of Garth’s career is not negative. Namely, the contracts of Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield stand as great, team-friendly deals that keep the two signed beyond this season.
Mayfield’s contract runs to the end of the 2022-23 season on a cap hit of $1.45 million. Pelech is signed through next season and has a slightly higher cap hit of $1.6 million.
Garth has also left the Islanders with a decent prospect pipeline going forward. Sebastian Aho leads AHL Bridgeport in points (12) currently. Tanner Fritz has proven he can compete for a job at the NHL level with his strong play a year ago. Travis St. Denis showed promise this pre-season, and Arnaud Durandeau has looked solid in his first year in the AHL.
Linus Soderstrom is in his first season in North America and has been high on the organization’s list of prospects for a while.
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I don’t think there’s much more to say about the impact Garth has on this current incarnation of the Islanders. His executive career was, as fans’ opinions of him now, divisive and complex.
Thanks for reading. If you’ve followed all the way through this four-part series, I appreciate it.