June 9, 2018
By Danny Radical
If case you haven’t heard, there is reason to be incredibly happy in Islander Country. Yes, the hiring of Lou Lamoriello was a fantastic maneuver by owner Scott Malkin, if only because Lou Lam knows how to put a staff together and make a franchise look professional. But that’s not what I’m talking about.
The genius of Lou is that he can read fine print and find the loopholes in the document. Call it a Louhole skill. Lou purveyed Garth Snow’s contract- and probably the contract of Doug Weight- and found out a way to avoid the poison pill. #Loupon
The poison pill? Surely you’ve all heard about Charles Wang’s contract sweetener for the boy genius Garth Snow. If Snow was fired, a golden parachute gets triggered that makes Snow an instant multi-breakfast multi-millionaire. To carry Snow’s girth, that parachute must be the size of Uganda. That can’t be cheap. So what was Lou’s move? Reposition Snow within the organization without actually removing him. Neutering, not firing.
Lou has done step one in what was needed to right this forever backwards franchise- getting rid of the fattest, er, smartest man in the room. He’s even done step two in canning Dough Weight. Step three should be the firing of AHL coach Scott Thompson, who is actually made of garbage. But I’m not here to praise Lou and his moves. No, I’m here to bury the NHL career of Garth Snow.
Career? Yes, career. Entire career, which should have gone away over a decade ago. Snow will never serve as a General Manager in the NHL again. No team will hire him. I’m pretty confident of that statement, to the point where I’ll bet money on it. And you’ll see why when I present his obituary.
Obituary? That’s for the dead, no? Well, that’s not entirely accurate. We’re talking about Garth Snow here. Despite his cholesterol, he’s still alive. A man who thought the keto diet said Kilo diet, and amped up his consumption. A man who marched to his own drummer. March? What the fuck am I talking about. More like munched to his own drum sticks. Fried. So what I’m doing here is writing his OBESEUARY.
Why OBESEUARY? Look at him. Look at how he ended up. He looked like a fat homeless bum at his last press conference. He nearly killed a franchise single ham handedly. He makes moves in the draft that defy logic. He makes no moves at the trade deadline which defies logic. He managed to both circumvent a salary cap and mangle a cap ceiling, which is a measure of pure incompetence. Yet no concession stand defied him, so he’s got that going for him.
In short, I’m here to bury Garth Snow, not to praise him. And to bury him you need a deep, deep whole. Luckily, Snow has done that for us.
Taking a look at Snows drafting, it can be categorized as underwhelming. You may say “but 40 goal scorer Anders Lee! John Tavares! Matt Barzal!”
Lee was a lucky pick for a 6th round choice. Barzal was available because Boston saw his injury history and avoided him with 3 straight picks. Tavares was a no brainer for a no brainer, which he almost screwed up. But what about every other draft? You do understand Snow had about 100 draft picks, right?
What about the rewards for sucking for so many straight years? Snow turned four fifth overalls and a 4th overall into Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle, Cal Clutterbuck, and Matt Barzal. You may have noticed that 5 top 5 picks turned into 4 players. Yup. That’s it. Also, the year Bailey was drafted Snow could have drafted Eberle, so Snow ended up trading a top 5 pick to remedy a draft mistake. That itself is a Garth Snow t-shirt sized red flag.
Worse than that, Snow used the second round of the draft- often a pick in the 30’s- to create absolutely nothing for the franchise. Scott Mayfield is the only Snow second round pick currently on the roster. The other one from the last 11 drafts was Travis Hamonic. And yes, I said THE OTHER ONE. 11 drafts.
Remember some of those winners Snow drafted in Round two? Johan Sundstrom? He played in the NHL for a week or so. Aaron Ness? Gamechanger. Corey Trivino? Didn’t he molest a girl in college?
Round three? 13 picks. Adam Pelech. That’s all. None of the “first round talent” Kirils are with the team in any way.
Round four? Casey Cizikas stands out. As a murderer. Snow uses a psychology test to determine who plays for the organization. Apparently murderers and rapists are good at taking psychology tests. Not so good at hockey.
Round 5 pick Ryan Pilon quit playing hockey altogether after being drafted by Garth Snow. I’m not making that up.
Round 6 is Snow’s diamond in the rough, Anders Lee. One day Lee will learn how to skate. It will probably be with a different franchise, unless Lou can undo all of the cap damage that Garth created. Round 6 was also AnDong Song, because Wang wanted to draft an Asian. Like in Sixteen Candles, his name is Dong. Because you wouldn’t want to draft something sounding stereotypical.
It could be worse, however.
Round 7? Cody Rosen. Snow drafted a friends kid when he was supposed to be running an organization. Enough said.
The 2012 draft? 7 defensemen. And he offered trading the entire draft to move up 2 draft slots in round one. The GM that refused that deal was fired for stupidity. The guy that offered it got a golden parachute. Because Charles Wang hates Islander fans.
Also, Garth is the king of the college loophole, as he leads all NHL GM’s in players that used the loophole to avoid playing in the NHL specifically for the Islanders.
Yes Yes Yes it does!
Just as disgustingly, the players Snow passed on to take his “smuggest man in the room” picks are an impressive list. Why take Brandon Saad when you can have Scott Mayfield? Cam Fowler and Jeff Skinner were available when Snow reached and took Nino Neiderreiter. To draft Corey Trivino Snow passed on Roman Josi. In the same round of the same year he chose Aaron Ness over Justin Schultz and Travis Hamonic over Marco Scandella. That last one is probably a wash of a pick. The prior two? Not so much.
There was also the year Snow chose Miko Koskinen over Ryan O’Reilly. That’s a good look. Or when he traded up to take Calvin DeHaan over Nick Leddy, only to use picks and prospects to later acquire Nick Leddy.
Here’s a question- Snow was an NHL goalie, so where are the goalies in the organization? Outside of Snow signing a 15 year deal for DP, what’s he done for organizational goaltender development? The only decent goalie prospect in the system refused to play for Garth and lives in Russia which must suck, as I imagine it as a nation of criminals, boxers, and prostitutes.
So aside of poor drafting, lets take a peek at organizational structure. The job of the GM is to manage the entire organization. AHL, NHL, corporate offices…that’s his job. Under Snow’s watch, the Islanders have reduced their scouting staff to among the smallest in the NHL. Their organizational operation was done by the arena that they played in and not the team. Their AHL team has never won a playoff series. He convinced owners to keep him and let George McPhee leave.
McPhee has a team he built playing in the Stanley Cup finals against a team McPhee built. And like always, Snow is watching the playoffs from his couch with a few dozen dozens hot wings.
Roster construction? Snow was the master of doing nothing. There was never a clear team identity, or even a line by line identity save for a year or two when Jack Capuano stuck 3 grinders together who liked to hit people together. Having the best 4th line in hockey for a year does not excuse having three of the worst other lines in the league.
Unrestricted free agents? Dan Boyle said no to the Islanders. Christian Ehrhoff said no to the Islanders. Matt Moulson said no to the Islanders. Frans Neilsen said no to the Islanders. Thomas Vanek said no to the Islanders. Brad Boyes said no to the Islanders. Steven Stamkos wouldn’t even talk to the Islanders. So who said yes?
“Why give up the easy goals and join them?”
Either guys that were at the end of their careers and wanted a few extra million to retire on, or guys who were grossly overpaid and/or given no trade or no movement clauses. Thanks, Andrew Ladd and Johnny Boychuk!
Cap management? Hey, did you know that the Islanders were less than $3 million away from the cap ceiling last season? And they put together a whopping 80 points. That’s 2 more points than the last year that Mike Milbury ran the team.
Just a few holes to fill…
Let’s not forget Garth Snow negotiating against HIMSELF with the in season extensions at over $3 million per year for both Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck. Maybe snow has a thing for the initials CC. Maybe it reminds him of Clam Chowder? Cheese Cake? Cookie Crumbs? Coldstone Creamery? Chinese Cuisine? Chocolate Chips? Cheddar Cheese? Coffee Creamer? Chocolate Custard? Cud Chewer?
Shame no players had the initials FF, so I could call Snow the Fat Fuck that he is.
Also, his going away present to Josh Bailey is a contract that will prove disastrous to the salary cap if John Tavares leaves the team. Josh Bailey has the longest NHL career for a player with zero achievements. That he has a chance to play 1000 games in an Islander uniform is disgraceful.
Playoffs? Snow’s teams made 3 appearances in 11 years of Garth rosters. I’m not counting Neil Smith’s playoff team under the Garth win category. And that’s the same number of playoff appearances that the Mike Milbury constructed Islanders put together. Snow is no better than Milbury, and Milbury is considered one of the worst NHL GM’s ever. Thus, so is Garth. I don’t remember fans buying billboards to remind a city how bad Garth Snow is.
Trades? Not only were NHL player for player trades rare under the 12 years of failure of the Garth Snow reign, but Snow managed one that ranks right up there with the worst Islanders trades ever: Turgeon for Muller, andLuongo/Jokinen for Kvasha/Parrish. Maybe even worse. And we all know that trade:
Matt Moulson, Thomas Vanek, a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick for Sebastian Collberg and a 2nd round pick. One of those guys still plays in the NHL, and it isn’t the youngest one. Two of those guys got offers from Snow when they became UFAs. Fans should consider themselves lucky that both guys said no.
Organizational branding? People referred to Garth Snow’s Islanders as a “tire fire,” was often called a loser at the trade deadline, blamed an arena (that the team is returning to) for being unable to attract free agents, and had a head coach blame the fans for not cheering the messes he created. There’s one word for that brand- dogshit.
The loss of a franchise player? Yeah, check that one off too. To let a player dictate negotiations is stupid to begin with. To not even make an offer? That’s a special kind of dumb. But also, it speaks to the heart of Garth- too lazy to work.
7 years of Andrew Ladd. 7 years of Johnny Boychuk. 6 years of Nick Leddy. 5 years of Cal Clutterbuk. 5 years of Josh Bailey. 5 years of Scott Mayfield. 4 years of Casey Cizikas. 4 years of Adam Pelech. Does anyone think it’s good to lock up every marginal player for the majority of their careers and remove competition from the NHL roster due to guaranteed contracts and no movement clauses? So why do it?
Because Snow is lazy. Less work every year with each long term deal. The DP deal he signed became illegal under the NHL CBA, because the league didn’t think they had to codify not being completely stupid.
That’s one busy offseason!
Another area Snow failed in is in asset management. Spending 15% of the salary cap on Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin? 112 games over 3 years of Lubomir Visnovsky costing a second round draft pick? Grabovski, a 1st, 2nd and a prospect for the rights to protect…Calvin DeHaan? Who had about 30 more games as an Islander in him and was offered an off season pay cut? Saying no to Taylor Hall for Travis Hamonic, but saying yes to Travis Hamonic to recover the draft picks you sent to Las Vegas with no immediate roster help? In a walk year for John Tavares? What did he give up to trade up fpr Joshua Jo Sang, only to bury Joshua ho Sang?
Well managed assets?
Meanwhile John Tavares remains unsigned. Because asset management.
So here is an amazingly brief list of ways that Snow mangled the Islanders franchise. The thing that makes me curious however is his reassignment. Snow fails at everything he touches. What exactly would the team assign Snow to do?
He can’t be Sparky- the uniform wouldn’t fit. He can’t be trusted to be a food vendor- the food would never make it to the fans. He can’t be trusted to answer phones to sell tickets because he’d be too busy speed dialing Borellis. He’d try to order a 100 point season banner, or a Hamonic trade banner.
Yes, extra cheese. Extra meat, too. Also, an extra pie. Charge it to Charles.
Actually, now that I think about it, with the impending new arena at Belmont I think that Snow may finally have found his calling.
A full time Horses Ass.
As we look back on the 12 year era of Garth Snow, we survey the impact of 12 years of failure. Garth brought nothing to the table, and also never left table scraps. The Islanders did not progress during his reign. In all, this move was easily 4 years overdue. And to round out this OBESEUARY, understand that Garth Snow will not be employed by another NHL team as a General Manager ever again. Vegas didn’t want him, Seattle won’t want him, and any team that wants to win has seen his performance and will pass.
With the death of Snow’s career, for once, we may not see more of the same. Finally. And to bid adieu to Snow, we say this- Fuck you, you fat fuck.
Snow’s next Islander job, as per Charles Wang