Can Garth Snow do this job?

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/15/2009 02:00:00 PM |
General managers have so many roles we hardly read about in the media and like many the gm is the lightning rod for whatever goes wrong which comes with the territory.

A gm more often than not is traveling whether it be the WJC, other countries or the minor leagues/college level. In addition there is meeting with scouts and getting reports on NHL players through the staff combined with the day to day stuff for his own coach and roster.

There are also contract negotiations that have to be done.

I will never be happy with Snow lying to our fans last April about his working relationship with Ted Nolan, you do not ask folks come out in April to hear lies.

On the negative side Snow has to take some of the hit for the current record and the injuries, he did not bring in many of these players or sign them but he had to know the idea of this group staying healthy (especially on the blueline) was a longshot.

I also want to see no more talk of free agents and the Nassau Coliseum from the general manager. That was a mistake and a cop-out in my estimation. He said it was one thing in negotiations that came up and the media did the rest making blowing it out of proportion but that came off like an excuse.

I admit I'm not sure of his direction going to the mat with Andy Hilbert, Richard Park, Nate Thompson or Tim Jackman on the ice but that is more likely the head coaches call which was Garth Snow's pick who he has to support.

Am I thrilled with the strategy to trade down for Josh Bailey vs some of the other players? I'm kind of indifferent with it and have to defer to experts in scouting circles who say assistant gm Ryan Jankowski and the staff had an excellent draft.

Last summer's draft is going to take years to judge.

Bailey goes in and out with his impact but that's expected at his age.

As for very old news put me on the side of those who feel he made an excellent trade for Smyth and did not offer him the big frontloaded contract to keep him. The Islanders were in sixth place, took a shot at finishing higher and making a run at a cup for two players who have yet to prove anything. Nilsson has talent but on this roster was another smaller forward. They could have used the pick but that draft on paper was a weak one and a fair gamble.

Again, old news.

Where Snow did impress me and lead me to believe he can do this job was in resigning his own players at reasonable contracts almost seamlessly, especially in landing Mark Streit in UFA and Doug Weight who have been huge pluses in a terrible season.
Trent Hunter was locked up without a hitch when many felt he could be moving on, Witt also was a very good signing for him.

Say what you want about Wade Dubielewicz (Snow should have kept it more cordial and out of the media) but MacDonald and Danis combined overall have outplayed a lot of established NHL netminders around this league. Goaltending has not been the problem for the 08-09 Islanders even if they miss DiPietro's world class ability.

Looking ahead will give us the best answer regarding his job performance. What decisions will be made with Bergenheim, Comeau, Tambellini vs the players in Bridgeport and ones like Robin Figren, Joensuu or Marcinko? This organization is still mostly made up of a lot of Mike Milbury/Neil Smith/Tony Feltrin draft picks with a lot of college players who are getting closer to decisions needing to be made when they graduate and have to signed.

What's a Garth Snow player? Start with his first season as gm where he added players before camp and his subsequent drafts/signings.

Trevor Smith, Sean Bentivoglio were his signings two years ago, Rob Hennigar was his signing last summer out of UNB. Jack Hillen was signed by Snow last year and claimed it was like adding a first rounder.

What's going to happen at the trade deadline? I'm not sure, right now it depends on the offers Snow receives vs whether he feels some players are of value for next year. If Doug Weight is ready in six weeks he could be of use to a club at playoff time, or Snow wants him back but will have a max figure which I suspect will be take it or leave as it played out with Satan, Blake and others.

Same with Mike Comrie.

Garth Snow simply let some players leave for no return who were pending UFA and did not resign anyone who did not take his reported final offers the last few years.

Overall I see Snow sticking to his plan and making the changes he feels must be made.

I absolutely do think he can do job of an NHL general manager and be successful.

In the end this will come down to what Charles Wang thinks of his gm's performance, despite the injuries he cannot be happy with the final result.

Owners want to see progress, that's where Garth Snow has to make the case for his job performance.

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