Posts Tagged ‘Garth Snow’ NHL fan misery rankings: No. 2 New York Islanders

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New York Islanders fans with the Stanley Cup

Isles fans want to dream and support their team, but the benighted franchise has made it hard to do. (Getty Images)

By John Rolfe

Sometimes it’s just plain awful to be a fan.

We’re not talking about the occasional emotional bump and bruise, the kind fans get from a devastating last-second loss or a disastrous season-ending injury — or even when they watch their favorite team bow out in the conference finals, one round shy of a shot at the Stanley Cup. We mean years of suffering at the hands of a club that almost seems to delight in tormenting those who freely give to it their hearts, minds, time and money.

This is the ninth in our series on the 10 NHL franchises that take an ongoing toll on their fans, the teams that suggest that their devoted followers are either bottomless wells of hope or certified masochists — or perhaps just a touch crazy. Today we look at the New York Islanders, the once proud dynasty that rose in the space of eight years from expansion doormat in 1972-73 to Stanley Cup juggernaut (1980-83; the Isles remain the last major North American pro sports franchise to win four league championships in a row) only to stagger through decades of mindboggling mismanagement, futility and humiliation.

Teams 10: Winnipeg Jets | 9: Dallas Stars | 8: Columbus Blue Jackets | 7: Vancouver Canucks
Florida Panthers | 5. Edmonton Oilers | 4. Washington Capitals  | 3: Buffalo Sabres
1. Toronto Maple Leafs

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  • Published On Mar 25, 2014
  • Thomas Vanek trade bungle is Garth Snow’s latest epic gaffe

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    New York Islanders GM Garth Snow

    GM Garth Snow’s trade market miscalculation will put the Isles in a sticky situation in June. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Wednesday was another bad day in a long line of them for Garth Snow, a man who probably thought he might salvage a lost season on Long Island with a bravura performance at the trade deadline but instead cemented his reputation as the Charlie Brown of NHL general managers, the one whose clothes fly off in all directions when each pitch he throws is hit for a screaming comebacker.

    While the deadline efforts of his peers will require the benefit of time and distance to adequately judge their success, the work of the Islanders GM needs no such perspective.

    It was a disaster.

    CAZENEUVE: Teams to watch in the post-deadline stretch

    While Buffalo’s dynamic duo of Darcy Regier (since fired) and his replacement, Tim Murray, were ultimately able to turn impending free agent Thomas Vanek into a first-round pick, three second-rounders, and forward Torrey Mitchell for the Sabres, all Snow could muster was a conditional second rounder (it’s gone if Montreal fails to make the playoffs) and prospect forward Sebastien Collberg.

    Get that? Buffalo walks away with four picks and an affordable depth forward for Vanek. Snow gets the football yanked away just as he leans into it and the endless rebuild on Long Island takes another step backwards.

    Of all the Garth Snows in the world, he’s the Garth Snowiest.

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  • Published On Mar 06, 2014
  • Top Line: Deadline trade grades; Garth Snow on thin ice?; more links

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    Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin

    Why is this man smiling? Montreal GM Marc Bergevin had a very good deadline day. (Ryan Remiorz/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Jim Matheson offers grades for each team that took part in trade deadline activity and says it was a better day for buyers than for sellers. Hard to argue with that assessment considering how little money prime scorers with expiring contracts fetched on the market.

    • Eric Duhatschek agrees with Matheson’s assessment, saying that there won’t be any cases of buyer’s remorse when the league’s general managers wake up this morning.

    • Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin went from being burned in effigy to being elected mayor of Fickleville after his deadline-beating deal that brought Thomas Vanek to Montreal.

    • It’s pretty clear that  Garth Snow is no Rumpelsiltskin after he failed in his efforts to spin Vanek into gold, but the Islanders GM is well situated for success a few months down the road when the draft rolls around. That, however, begs the question: Should Snow be the one who is allowed to call the shots in June?

    • Rory Boylen lists the Canadiens, the Kings, the Rangers, the Capitals and the Senators as his five winners of deadline day.

    • Adam Proteau takes issue with Boylen’s acclaim for Washington, saying that its acquisitions don’t make the team a sure thing for the playoffs, let alone a contender.

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  • Published On Mar 06, 2014
  • Jamming the Crease: Thomas Vanek snubs Isles; Adams dark horse; more

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    Thomas Vanek of the New York Islanders

    Thomas Vanek has put Islanders GM Garth Snow in a difficult and dangerous position. (Kathy Kmonicek/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Looks like the chance to continue playing on the NHL’s hottest line wasn’t enough to convince Thomas Vanek to commit to the Islanders long term. Arthur Staple of Newsday is reporting that Vanek turned down “a substantial contract offer” from New York, leading GM Garth Snow to put the winger on the market ahead of the March 5 trade deadline.

    There’s just no way to put a positive spin on this. It’s a disaster for the Isles and a gut punch for Snow, who was heavily criticized for the October deal in which he sent Matt Moulson, a conditional 2014 first rounder and a 2015 second rounder to the Sabres for Vanek, a pending UFA. Even if Snow had been able to re-sign Vanek, the trade still would have tilted in favor of the Sabres. But now? Snow has to hit, and hit big, on this next swap in order to save face … and maybe his job.

    GALLERY: Islander follies

    Snow will likely want to recoup at least a solid prospect and a couple of picks, including a first rounder. The problem is, everyone knows that Snow is up against it and they’ll be looking for a bargain. Unless someone equally desperate (ahem, Dean Lombardi of the Kings) calls in a panic, it’s unlikely that anything will happen before Vanek heads to Sochi to represent Austria in the Olympics. After that, things will probably go down to the wire, with Snow forced to swallow an unappetizing offer rather than let Vanek get away for nothing in July.

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  • Published On Feb 03, 2014
  • Coaching change rumored for Islanders; Is Peter Laviolette on wish list?

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    Peter Laviolette coached the New York Islanders for two seasons.

    Peter Laviolette had some success with the Isles before wearing out his welcome. (Ed Betz/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    A season that began with such fresh promise is unraveling like a Rob Ford lie on Long Island. The Islanders are in last place in the Metropolitan Division, and coming off an eighth-straight loss on Thursday night. They’re struggling to correct their course before the playoffs are completely out of their reach, but the outlook is getting grimmer by the day.

    Something has to give. But are they really ready to pin the blame on coach Jack Capuano?

    Botta is a top-notch reporter with deep ties in the organization. If he’s throwing Laviolette’s name out for public consumption, there’s likely more than a little smoke here.

    And it’s a name that’s sure to catch the attention of the dispirited tribe known as the Isles faithful. Laviolette spent two seasons (2001-03) behind the bench on Long Island, guiding a hard-working team to the playoffs both times before being dismissed by infamous GM Mike Milbury in a fit of pique. Since then, Laviolette has won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes (2006), coached Team USA at the Olympics (2006), and guided the Flyers to the Cup Final (2010). These days he’s working as an assistant for Team USA, and is doing some heavy scouting ahead of the team’s roster selection.

    He’s an undeniably capable guy…but bringing him on now would be a pointless move, wouldn’t it?

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  • Published On Dec 06, 2013