New York Islanders

Transitioning from a laughingstock into one of the more stable organizations in the NHL is what the New York Islanders are proceeding with.

By Robby Sabo

When any organization takes it upon themselves to transition into legitimacy, bumpy trails lie ahead.

There’s a reason an organization would be so gun-ho about moving forward with respect. They’ve been called a laughingstock, a joke, and even a “Mickey Mouse organization by Wayne Gretzky at one point (see New Jersey Devils over two-decades ago).

The good news for the New York Islanders is that Garth Snow is very close in completing this full transition.

After spending much of the 2014-15 season in first-place of the Metropolitan Division and making a playoff appearance – only their third such appearance in the last 10 years and sixth time out of the last 20 years – the Islanders seem poised for another strong season in 2015-16.

The main reason comes down to Garth Snow’s relentless wheeling and dealing.

Last season marked critical additions in goalie Jaroslav Halak and defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk. Now, as training camp is already underway, Snow is at it again.

He’s re-signed restricted free-agent center Brock Nelson to a three-year, $7.5 million deal. He also traded away speedster Michael Grabner to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a pretty nice haul in return in Taylor Beck, Carter Verhaeghe, Matt Finn, Tom Nilsson, and Christopher Gibson.

Oh yeah, Snow also inked former Devils forward Steve Bernier.

Going into the 2015 NHL Entry Draft the Isles were pretty light on draft picks. Actually, they had no first-rounders as ammo. The reason was of course Snow’s constant action in the trade market. Like he usually does though, he remedied that situation with the trade of Griffin Reinhart to the Edmonton Oilers.

Snow came away with two first-rounders in Matthew Barzal, who reminds many of the silky smooth Joe Sakic, and Anthony Beauvillier, who draws comparisons to Brendan Gallagher.

Fast-forward back to the present day and the current task at hand, Isles training camp has created buzz for not only Snow’s off-the-ice moves, but his complete iron-fisted hand.

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, when former first-round pick Joshua Ho-Sang showed up late to training camp, he was immediately sent to the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL.

Ho-Sang’s training camp immediately ended for him in shocking fashion. Furthermore, Snow had an interesting message for the youngster.

That’s right. These Islanders now mean business.

It’s actually going down for real this time. All the wheeling and dealing by Snow and the professional attitude oozing out of Isles leaders (especially captain John Tavares) lead us to believe this organization has finally made the big-time.

It actually seems as though they can finally be a perennial playoff contender each season.

Of course their play on the ice will need to back it up, but at this very moment not even a horrid third black-and-white jersey looks like it can derail them.

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Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]