Garth Snow's worst personnel decision as General Manager was signing Steve Staios to play in this role. I amended title from worst moment, because this is specifically about signing a player.
Steve Staios, two years ago had trade value equal to former Islander, Aaron Johnson and a third round pick.
Instead, not only is tryout player Steve Staios here, he's an assistant captain, playing top line minutes with Mark Streit?
That's almost the equivalent of Doug Weight centering the first line, it makes no sense given the slow, veteran defenders returning or Staios age/resume.
Staios and Mottau right now are two players who at best get two-way contracts, come up as seventh defenders. I would absolutely even use Dylan Reese over both.
Snow tried to get a top four defender this summer, but I absolutely expected to see him to do what twenty nine other clubs looking for that kind of defender would have done, go with what they have, exercise patience using the defenders he had success with in the second half that brought the speed out of his forwards.
Instead Garth Snow signed Steve Staios, knowing his returning core was older, slower.
Wishart played twenty games here and posted a plus five rating, perhaps they were counting on Katic to replace Martinek or Hillen, but his injury changed things.
deHaan cannot be called up quickly enough. Ness, Donovan also have to get serious consideration. Why did Snow sign Klementyev so quickly for him to barely be used in the AHL the last two years?
Add to that moving Comeau off his natural spot, plugging in older/slower Rolston, Pandolfo, Reasoner is hardly known for speed with a mix of Staios, Mottau, Eaton and eventually Jurcina is it any surprise the team is pinned in their own end, forcing the forwards back, scrambling for large portions of games?
Snow's worst management decision by a mile. All the posts saying no to McCabe, Kaberle and other players make this even worse because you don't sign Staios for the same reasons. Campoli's worst game is miles ahead of Staios, and under no circumstances would I want Campoli back.
Even Souray would have been a better choice, but a terrible one.
Perhaps Garth Snow is so concerned with injuries, he overstocked on the backline. I can understand that reasoning given his experience/man games lost since he took the job as general manager, but you don't improve a weakness, by adding the same kind of player.
Snow had a fantastic summer locking up the core players, even if he did make the call to not retain Martinek, Hillen or Gervais, he should have been patient enough to see things through with his prospects on defense or identifying the right player.
Steve Staios on a team without Eaton, Mottau, Jurcia is at best someone to be used as a sixth defender with a two-way contract.
I also believe Snow's decision on Panfolfo is also a significant mistake but he is not playing first line right wing.
Again, this is not about the first two games. I never expected Staios to be employed in this manner on a team bringing back Mottau, Eaton that already had Jurcina.
Bottom line, Steve Staios, is not going to get younger or faster, same as Doug Weight was never going to start scoring at five on five on a top line. Eaton, Mottau are all limited even without rust and not going to become faster defenders who can spring a rush, by winning a race to the boards, to chip pucks to Grabner/Nielsen or anyone else.
This extends to the offensive forecheck as well, slower point defenders need more time to get into position, they are not going to be able to move in traffic as well and will be easier to read on the perimeter when they make passes or put low percentage shots on goal.
Most of this corrects itself next offseason, but for now, this team is going to be scrambling in it's own end of the ice, forcing the forwards back to play the game in their own end of the ice.
The kind of game they played in November of 2010, the kind they did not play in the second half of last season as other clubs had problems with the Islanders speed and aggressive play.
This is a step back.
Quickly and quietly, Garth Snow, just made his worst personnel decision as General Manager. Jack Capuano has him playing with Streit, so no hiding his decision here to make this combination.