New York Islanders

New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow has earned a little more respect among NHL circles following his draft performance.

By Michael Iuzzini

The New York Islanders blue-line was noticeably getting over crowded, especially with the long-term signing of Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk.

So, general manager Garth Snow reacted. He went to work and pulled off a solid move that put his team right back into the first round of a very deep crop of players in the draft.

Snow traded Griffin Reinhart to the Edmonton Oilers for the 16th and 33rd overall pick. He then rounded off the deals by trading the 33rd and 72nd pick to acquire the 28th overall from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Snow’s business sense got him and his staff from sitting in the dark corner at the draft to the VIP section.  With the 16th pick they drafted Matthew Barzal, a two-way center that is known as a play-maker rather than a goal scorer currently at this point in his hockey career.

Snow denied the rumors that Reinhart has been asking for a trade and focused the move on more of the fact that Ryan Pulock and Scott Mayfield will be NHL ready.

Sure, Snow was not on his own with the decisions to move Reinhart and draft Barzal, but the once hated GM and league joke proved to his NHL counterparts he has more than a clue how to manage a team.

Garth had been handcuffed by Owner Charles Wang for a little under a decade and had no choice to make do with what Wang’s cap was.

Islanders fans have to pat Snow on the back with what team the GM has put together and the solid prospects that are in their developing system.  Hopefully we will no longer hear the chants of “Garth Must Go.”

Currently, Snow is in the process of closing a deal in signing Thomas Hickey to a long-term extension.  He also has some work to do with Anders Lee and Brock Nelson signing on the dotted line.

Snow has a solid core of young players and with patience has rebuilt his team from within. The team’s depth on the blue-line along with a crop of young talented forwards waiting in the wings such as Michael Dal Colle, Josh Ho-Sang, and now Barzal, has Islanders nation salivating for the season to start.

Snow’s work is far from over as he still is in search for a veteran d-man most likely through free agency and locking down the backup goalie scenario.

When looking at the big picture the future is all Isles, and Snow is the man to thank.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Great article Mike. I enjoyed the read.

    In the interview of Wang with Mike Francesa a few years back, Wang clearly stated that the focus has shifted to rebuilding from within, primarily through the draft. Garth has clearly delivered on that promise. Our prospect pool is very strong and this draft redeemed Garth for the Vanek trade. Ok he gambled and lost. I was a Garth skeptic. I admit it. I was wrong.

    The move to Brooklyn with the new lease, new arena and new media and sponsors has clearly affected the inability to sign top FA talent, most notably Boychuk and Leddy. Also, the franchise now has the ability to keep and resign top prospects beyond their initial contract as opposed to the last 30 years of basically grooming young talent for other teams after the initial contract is over. I really do not think it is a coincedence of what Garth has accomplished since 2012 and the announcement of the move. This is the part that I feel many of the fans do not get. If the team stayed in that old arena, we would not be having this conversation. The article you would be writing would be about another fire sale the team would have been having and looking forward to another last place finish starting all over again with no talent.

    So in the big scheme of things, there is much to be excited about. I for one am! We not only have a deep prospect pool, but also the ability to attract top talent. This the first time in 20 years or so that this franchise can make BOTH those claims. How can you not be excited?

    I just hope no one taints the positive energy here with grumblings about taking the train, the neighborhood around Barclays, the obstructed seats or the perception of no parking at Barclays. Let me clarify a few things on this. 1) There are a bunch of lots. I just parked in one on Pacific St. last week for work. 2) the 4 areas surrounding Barclays are terrific. (Park Slope, Prospect a Heights, Boerum Hill and Fort Greene) bars and restaurants galore with something for everyone. 3) the train. I get that many out east in Suffolk will most likely depart as season ticket holders due to logistics, distance and cost, but I have also heard rumblings fromm people that would have less than an hour ride directly to Altalntic Terminal and no switching at Jamaica??? That’s WEAK.

    I am an Isles fan originally from Brooklyn and has followed the team since 78 when I was 8 years old. I live in Westchester now and have a group of friends that will be on the subway from The Bronx for games. SMILING! not because Brooklyn is any more convenient for me to get to then NVMC, (it actually isn’t) Nassau was easier, but because I see a winner developing here. For real!

    I cannot wait for Oct 9th!

  2. While dealing Reinhardt for a first and second round picks was a great move, Snow’s player selections in this years draft as well as the compilation of his current roster is deficient in one very important area that was – lack of size and physicality throughout the lineup. On defense, hickey, viznovsky got manhandled by the much bigger CAPs. Up front, the Islanders are in dire need for another power forward with some teeth. It is beyond me why they didn’t make a pitch to acquire Lucic or Chris Stewart. If the Isles expect to go further in the playoffs next year, Snow will need to rectify this.