Two years ago today, Garth Snow was removed as the New York Islanders GM.
After the New York Islanders appointed Lou Lamoriello as the President of Hockey Operations on May 22, 2018, the fan base turned their gaze to GM Garth Snow. How long would Lou Lamoriello keep the veteran GM in the job?
Exactly two weeks after Lou was hired, Garth Snow was removed from his duties as Islanders GM. A role Snow had held for nearly 12 years. After more than a decade, there would be a new person in the GM chair for the Islanders.
After years of complaints from fans, which included
Garth Snow was gone and a new era could begin.
For 12 years-ish (Garth tenure was from July 18, 2006 to June 5, 2018), Snow tried to build the Islanders into a winner. And hee made a number of good moves to push the Islanders forward.
- Trading for Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk just an hour apart in 2014
- Moving Griffin Reinhart at the 2015 draft
- Then drafting Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier with the returns from Reinhart
- Swapping Ryan Strome for Jordan Eberle
But there were also a number of missteps that set the Isles back a number of years. Drafting Nino Niederreiter, Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Strome, and Michael Dal Colle between 2010 and 2014 and all in the top five was a disaster.
That’s four top-five picks who will never, or – in Dal Colle’s case may never – make a meaningful impact on this team. For a team rebuilding, like the Islanders between 2009 and 2014, missing on four top-five picks is indeed disastrous.
From Garth to Lou
None of us knew how the transition from Garth to Lou Lamoriello would go. We knew with Lou Lamoriello we were getting an old school GM who was already in the Hockey Hall of Fame for the work he had done with the New Jersey Devils.
His tenure as Isles GM certainly didn’t start off well. In just over a month he lost John Tavares and then he brought in a slew of, what seemed to be, replacement-level players. But the Isles still managed to put up a wildly impressive 103 points season in Lou’s first year.
Lou has shown he knows what he’s doing. Since taking over the Islanders they have the seventh-best record in the NHL. They’ve made the playoffs once, and are a play-in round versus Florida away from making the playoffs again this year.
They’ve also already won a playoff round with a sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins last year. Something that took Garth eleven years to do.
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It’s never nice to say someone needs to lose their jobs, but with 12 years in the seat, it was clear that Garth Snow needed to go. The Islanders needed another voice at the top to guide this team on a winning path.