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Reading Garth Snow's tea leaves

Self-promotional note: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST I'll be co-hosting on Hockey Night on Long Island, the long-running BlogTalkRadio show run by Islanders fans Alex and Steve. I'll include a link/embedded player for the show in tomorrow's game preview, too.

I wish Garth Snow were less tight-lipped as a GM. It's not that I want him filling the airwaves with Burke-ian bluster, nor divulging state secrets (and I question how many state secrets there even are). But when a GM speaks, it excites fans. It keeps the team in the conversation, it gives reporters an excuse better material to provide coverage of the team. The Islanders, as a business that seeks to fill seats and draw TV viewers, could use more coverage and more buzz.

But Snow, so recently an active player and member "in the room," doesn't play that way. His priority is to keep things quiet and eliminate potential distractions in the locker room. He takes that "in the family" approach to an extreme, I'd venture, but whatever. That's one fan's opinion. I am generally thrilled with how he has run hockey operations -- and a GM in New Jersey has shown hockey ops is by far the more important piece of a club.

But if he Snow did open up more, I bet people would like what they see. I have not met Garth Snow, but many accounts say he is great to interact with when the mics are off. From BlogBox members to fan club events to comments from his peers, they'll tell you Snow takes the mask off when he's not being probed for specific on-the-record info that could show up in a newspaper.

On that note, on the heels of the Brooks-ian "it is believed" Kovalchuk speculation, Snow appeared for the Islanders Booster Club meeting last night, and you can get a little, tiny window into his perspectives (Biron, Olympics, the two young blueliners) from the reports by Gary at View from Section 317 and Dee at her 7th Woman site (that post and this one). As far as words from the man in charge of the roster and all future Islanders, we fans have to take what we can get.

Other Bits:

Snow was part of the braintrust that have shut Witt down, not for the calf but for a knee injury he was trying to play through (again) ... after doing the hotel routine, Rob Schremp has received the proverbial "find a place" call -- a big step but hardly the final step in becoming a regular NHLer ... Still unclear which night, but Rick DiPietro starts this weekend, more likely against Buffalo ... Jesse Joensuu has been hot in the AHL ... Calvin de Haan is Oshawa's lone representative in the All-Star game.