The New York Islanders could have made a big splash at the trade deadline but instead chose to stay the course in what has been another disappointing season. The Islanders could have solidified themselves as a good team but instead are going to wallow in mediocrity for the rest of the year. The Islanders could have taken calls on John Tavares and instead are going to gamble on their franchise cornerstone possibly leaving them for nothing. This is all on Garth Snow.
In typical Garth Snow fashion, the Islanders traded for depth guys in Brandon Davidson and Chris Wagner in moves that didn’t improve or hurt the team. In essence, they did nothing. They never do anything, and until Garth Snow is fired they never will.
Over the past few years they’ve garnered some major talent including Shane Prince and Tyler Kennedy. The one big move that Garth Snow made was trading fan favorite Matt Moulson and a first for Thomas Vanek, Sebastian Collberg and a second. This trade panned out for no one but at least Vanek was fun to watch on a line with Tavares and Kyle Okposo.
At this point it feels like Snow does just enough every trade deadline to keep his job but not enough to ever actually improve the team. It’s like he’s scared to make a big move because the repercussions could be huge. However, in order to get better you need to be able to let go. Here are three things the Islanders could have done to improve themselves in the long run.
Trade Brock Nelson
Brock Nelson is the ultimate enigma. He is an extremely talented scorer with a mean streak when he wants to have one. He is also an extremely streaky player who disappears more than Casper. His time on Long Island has run out and he deserves a fresh start. He could have fetched a solid NHL player and a higher pick.
Instead it’s more of the same. Nelson will probably hit the 20 goal mark again this season, but it’s the least impressive path to 20 goals in hockey history. He scores in bunches but just doesn’t show up a lot of the time his team needs him. Maybe he’ll fetch something in the off-season but who knows if anyone is willing to give him a chance then.
Trade a First Rounder
Garth Snow’s message to the team was the same as it’s always been. He basically says he doesn’t think the team is good enough to contend based on his moves. He could have easily traded a first round pick for a good rental player but instead is going to keep it for God knows what.
It’s always nice to have a high first round pick but at what point do these picks become redundent? The Islanders have been in a rebuild forever and no end is in sight. Go for it. Sure Ryan Smyth didn’t work out years ago but that doesn’t mean that some other player wont either. Scared money doesn’t make money.
Take a flier on John Tavares
As Brian Compton has stated many times over, reading John Tavares is the worst idea ever. He’s not wrong, but even listening to offers can’t hurt. No one in the organization has any idea what Tavares is going to do and if he does wind up walking away Garth Snow should be fired immediately.
Tavares is frustrating but he is still one of the ten best players in the world. It’s encouraging that Josh Bailey re signed with the team for six more years but will that combined with the Belmont Arena give JT enough reasons to stay? Most think he will but doubt is starting to creep in the most the Islanders fall in the standings.
It’s discouraging that year after year islanders fans are left disappointed as Garth Snow refuses to just go for it. He’s on borrowed time and the billboard in Brooklyn aren’t getting any smaller. This is a do or die year for this franchise and he dropped the ball on this trade deadline. He may have an ace up his sleeve but the only time he’s looked like s magician in recent years is when working with Peter Chiarelli. It’s just another chapter in what feels like an eternity of losing.