Source: Corey Sipkin
Sorry New York Islander fans but firing GM Garth Snow isn’t going to save the franchise from re-signing the teams best player John Tavares. With July 1st coming in less than a month. A lot of teams will be going after the star centre. Coming off one of his best seasons with 84 points and 37 goals, and has amassed 621 points in 669 games. in New York. With that being said the Islanders just haven’t put the pieces together with Tavares. In 8 seasons he has played for the Islanders, the team has only made the playoffs just twice, while winning one playoff series in 2016 against the Florida Panthers. The timing of Snow's firing suggests the Islanders are trying their hardest to keep their only prominent player the team ever had in the last decade. Even with rookie Matthew Barzal having a great campaign and having the likes of Jordan Eberle, Brock Nelson and defenceman Ryan Pulock, the Islanders do have some solid young pieces, however losing Tavares would be a big blow the franchise. A player of that magnitude usually never goes into free agency and signs elsewhere. Something that has rarely happened since the NHL had implemented the salary cap back in 2005.
John Tavares has been the only hope the team has had in the last number of years. Garth Snow's damaging moves have cost the Islanders dearly. From signing Rick Dipietro to a terrible 15 year, 67.5 million dollar contract (which the team had to buy out the remaining 8 years left of that contract) to letting go John Tavares' best wing man in Kyle Okposo, and last years All-Star Frans Neilsen in free agency. Okposo has dramatically dropped off in Buffalo but the team had a good scoring punch between the two. Signing Andrew Ladd was a big mistake. A long term contract and a cap hit of almost 6 million. Garth Snow yet again made a bad decision. Let's not forget they were a playoff team that advanced to the semis that same season. Fast forward two years later and the team has missed the playoffs in back to back seasons. Garth Snow's effect on the club was negative. It seemed like he had no vision and it showed in the standings. He had no management skills prior to being named General Manager, as he was just a former player who served as a back up for most of his playing career. So why should Johnny T sign with the Islanders? He shouldn’t, plain and simple. Are the Islanders shaking up their management to try and change the culture of the team? Sure, but why should that make Tavares stay? The franchise has let him down over and over again. The Islanders haven’t been relevant since the 80’s dynasty teams and won just one playoff series in this century. If you look at it this team is even a headache off the ice. Travelling and commuting from one side of the borough to the other just to get to the Barclays Center. Their move to Brooklyn was a disaster and a failed experiment. Moving to Belmont sounds great and hopefully the Islanders stay but that isn’t going to happen for another 3 seasons. Who knows, plans may fall through and the Islanders could be back to square one.
John Tavares decision will have great impact on the league. If this was his last season with the Islanders than it goes to show that the team wasted his talents and his time. 9 years ago the future looked so promising for the Islanders, but now they might have to start from the bottom again. If Tavares leaves it will be a painful reminder that the team still hasn’t gotten it together. But if Lou can work his magic one more time than maybe the Islanders can write their wrongs that has hampered the franchise in the last two-plus decades.