FLATBUSH CLEARED OF SNOW
LOU LAMORIELLO RETURNING FOR BROOKLYN SWAN SONG
What Islanders fans have been longing to hear for over a decade is now music to their ears.
Arthur Staple of The Athletic is reporting former New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs executive Lou Lamoriello will be taking over the New York Islanders hockey operations. Be it as team president and/or general manager for the moment remains unclear. However, Arthur Staple also reports Lamoriello acting on behalf of the Islanders has already been in contact with pending unrestricted free agent John Tavares whom is set to hit the open market in July.
The Islanders have failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
Snow retired after the 2005-06 season and was immediately offered the position of general manager despite having no coaching nor practical front office experience. A well educated man, he was nevertheless hired to replace outgoing Neil Smith whom previously constructed a Stanley Cup champion at Madison Square Garden and hadn't yet held the Islanders job more than fifty days before experiencing a ponderous falling out with ownership.
Garth Snow's tenure started out quite promisingly but he never did build a sustainable contender. The team made the playoffs during his first season behind the desk earning him Executive of the Year honors, but would not qualify for post-season play again for another six seasons. All told, the Islanders made the playoffs four times during Snow's dozen years as general manager. Their lone 2015-2016 first round playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins stands out as Snow's crowning achievement. Suffice it to say the on-ice product has remained a major disappointment ever since.
In Snow's defense, any discussion involving him should also include former owner Charles Wang whose infamous battle with Nassau County over construction of his proposed Lighthouse Project would inevitably hamper and ultimately doom Uniondale's hockey club.
Snow may still potentially remain with the Islanders. A statement from partner Jon Ledecky and new club ownership is forthcoming.
Lou Lamoriello took over in 2015 as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Three years later, they registered a 105-point season. However, he too appears to have experienced a falling out with the Leafs, as well.
Be that as it may, the man knows a thing or two, or three, about winning Stanley Cups. What he achieved in just three years with Toronto has not gone unnoticed. The hope here no doubt is making the Islanders highly competitive by the time they open their new arena at Belmont.
If there exists an executive who can convince John Tavares the Islanders can and will turn this around, and see to it they become a highly regarded and consistent competitor, his name is Lou Lamoriello.
He instantly becomes the second most important person within the organization. Until July 1, however, the most important person in the organization continues being John Tavares.
Both know lots can happen within the next three or so years.
Right now, however, it appears as if Lou Lamoiello has dropped right onto Jon Ladecky's lap.
... can't blow this, guys.