As most of Islander fandom already knows, GM Garth Snow and coach Doug Weight have been relieved of their duties.
I can’t honestly say it’s a huge surprise. Someone was going to pay for the horrible defensive team the Islanders were last season, especially with the addition of Lou Lamariello as President of Hockey Operations. (Now GM too)
Now, of course, everyone wants to know what this means for the pending free agency of John Tavares.
I don’t think it means much of anything. You could look at these dismissals as a message to JT that the team is committed to winning, and being a professional organization. You could just as easily make the argument that Tavares enjoyed playing for Weight and wanted him back, and that Lou spent some time talking to him about what he’d like to see the team do and is now doing that, or that he’s given up on JT coming back and this is the sign of that.
I don’t see any of it, for one simple reason. Lou Lamariello is not the kind of guy who would let a player dictate to him if he really thought someone needed to go. I think he came in, and within a couple of weeks of meetings and discussions decided that the job Garth and Doug did wasn’t good enough, and he could find better people to do it. Period.
John Tavares can get on board with that, and come back, or he can not, and leave. He’s a free agent, he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants. Lou is a longtime professional, and he’ll put together a roster either way. I honestly believe that’s why he’s been rumored to have talked to Ilya Kovulchuk. If Tavares came back, I’m not sure how that would fit under the salary cap, or in the lineup. Without Tavares, it kind of makes sense. (My guess is Bailey moves to center, but that’s really just a guess.)
As Islander fans, we may have to get used to a GM who will do things his way, regardless of how the players might feel about it. He’s earned that with the success he’s had. That will be an adjustment for us.