Pat Lafontaine's Hiring: Old/New/Selective/Rules For Inexperienced Candidates/Owners/Media? Bridgeport Changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/13/2013 02:56:00 PM | | | | | | | | | |
Other than being very disappointed at one of Bill Torrey's proteges in Darcy Regier's, sixteen year tenure ending with Buffalo, I'm thrilled for Pat Lafontaine/Ted Nolan, and wish them the best of luck.

However what happened reaffirmed a lot of things, the biggest being NHL owners really have no clue on hiring executives which explains why most of them hate making a change in the first place.

Also that hockey media have the same selective standards as owners depending on the individual hired regardless of experience.

NHL Blacklisting?
Many owners likely rely on the NHL for advice in these matters which is why Lafontaine's Oct 2013 unspecified job with the NHL lasted almost to the day (42) as his tenure with the Islanders in 2006 before Sabres owner, Terry Pegula, made a decision.

It's not unreasonable to suggest with Lafontaine's move back to Buffalo, the league advised Pegula or he got to know Lafontaine since he purchased the club. 

Of course the question there is did Lafontaine go unconventional hiring Ted Nolan as a coach (interim) or did Pegula go against the school of thinking that kept teams from hiring Nolan aside from Charles Wang, and hire Nolan with Lafontaine?

Likely a question the media will not touch.

Of course we would see a completely opposite reaction if Charles Wang hired Denis Potvin (experienced broadcaster) to be the Islanders President, Mike Bossy (experienced corporate relations) to replace Garth Snow, and Bryan Trottier (experienced head/cup winning assistant coach) to replace Jack Capuano.

Different/selective rules/people/coverage.

There is no Central Scouting for owners when it comes to hiring team a team executive or the person entrusted with running the hockey operation.  Most are corporate billionaires, some throw money at the biggest name/resume, others take a chance from experience built over years, some internal, while others hire the people/players they become friends with.

It was obvious Charles Wang did a terrible job struggling to find a general manager from January to June in 2006, however he corrected his mistake, and his team qualified for the playoffs.

His current general manger signed John Tavares for less than James Wisniewski/Ehrhoff/Richards (countless others) which is why win or lose in 2013-14 he should retain his job to go with the comments of the players themselves who all made clear they like being part of this organization, especially the ones who would supposedly never report here, but enthusiastically resigned.

This is why Garth Snow earns his paycheck.

When an executive is a problem (rare) for an organization, it usually results in many of them not being hired elsewhere. Obviously Neil Smith comes to mind.

And like general managers in trades some owners do not give much help/advice some even want compensation.

As for team President Pat Lafontaine, I would love to be in the room when his 1991 version sits down, and is told by a player agent, I will not resign with the Sabres under the current ownership regardless of any contract offer. 

"I expect they'll offer us something, but I don't expect it will resolve anything," said Meehan. "What Pat wants from them is to be traded; nothing's changed."
This was with an ownership which financed four Stanley Cup Championships, with a general manager, named Torrey, a coach named Arbour.

Of course a decade later Mr Torrey joked about it on ice when Charles Wang honored him, before honoring Lafontaine 11/8/2003 at the Coliseum with a pregame ceremony days after his NHL Hall of Fame induction. 

Bottom Line: 
Does Pat Lafontaine's experience merit being an NHL team President?
Absolutely not.

I do find it fascinating the same media who roasted Snow's appointment to Islanders general manger now simply dismiss it as "neither have others" when the question of Lafontaine's experience comes up.

We have hybrid icing, and now hybrid media. 
Bridgeport Transactions:
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers announced Wednesday 11/13, that they have signed forwards Chris Langkow and Sean Wiles to professional tryout contracts (PTOs). The team has also loaned forward Greg Miller to the Stockton Thunder (ECHL). Finally, the New York Islanders have reassigned forward Kirill Kabanov to Bridgeport while reassigning forward Jason Clark to Stockton.