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Dear Garth: It's Time for a Yard Sale

A team who can't win at home can't make the playoffs. It's as simple as that, and I let Isles GM Garth Snow know exactly that.


Below is an actual email I sent to the Islanders immediately following last night's loss to the Penguins. I realize it will probably never get to Garth Snow, nor would he even bother reading it, but in the end I figured what the heck.

Dear Mr. Snow,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Islanders won't make the playoffs this year. This probably hurts me more than it does you (you know, job security and all), but it's a fact that we both must accept.

After some extensive late night, coffee-fueled research, I discovered that no team since the turn of the century that had a losing record at home during the regular season has made the playoffs.

In fact, no team has made the playoffs with a home losing record since the invention of the Bettman loser point. Your team would need to go 6-0 at home for the rest of the season to even get to .500. And only one team since 1999 has even made the playoffs with a .500 record at home. And even if that team was the Islanders in 2002-03, it doesn't mean you should be optimistic about your chances.

Half season magic you're thinking? Sure, back in 1993-94, two Western Conference teams did make the playoffs despite a losing home record. But that was a different time, with ties, fewer teams to beat out, and the absence of 3-point games.

So it is time to make that tough decision Mr. Snow and start thinking about your impending unrestricted free agents. To get the process started, I looked online for cell phone plans for you. You're going to need to start calling the agents of the Lubomir Visnovskys and Brad Boyeses of the world and start working on extensions.

I realize you probably have a company cell phone, but I'd suggest a prepaid cell with unlimited talk and text. You can not only contact these agents as much as necessary to get a deal done, but you can also throw the cell phone away at the trade deadline just in case things don't work out. You don't want to keep any evidence of your goings on if you fail to come to an agreement with the players.

If that does happen, I have taken the liberty of looking up some other supplies for you. Granted these are metaphoric supplies but hopefully you will see where I am going with this.

Luckily for you Walmart carries all the supplies you need, and I added them all to my online shopping cart in case you decide to delete this email and down the road realize I was right.

I added three folding tables, one for each player position you will need to display for sale. There are two packages of sticky labels and some Sharpies so you can write your price for each player you're putting on the market. To top it off, I added some poster board so you can display your 'Yard Sale' signs all across the NHL.

I also looked up ferry ticket prices out of Port Jefferson so you can ship some newly acquired prospects to Bridgeport, and a rubber container to store whatever draft picks you may collect until you need them in June. To be honest, I only looked at the prices of the smaller containers because it's time we move on from the draft pick hoarding and instead start bringing in some live bodies.

If you're not following, I am suggesting that if you can't sign your impending free agents, you sell them at the trade deadline to the highest bidder. The way I see it, if they don't want to sign an extension and be Islanders now, you're better off letting them go. It's better to get something in return now than being empty handed on July 1. You don't need another Ryan Smyth/P.A. Parenteau situation on your hands.

I hope you take my ideas under advisement. While I have as much hope as any Islanders fan, I also like to be realistic. Frankly, as much as I love this team, I find it hard to believe that they will be the one team in 14 years to make the playoffs despite a losing home record.


Somebody Who Most Assuredly Just Wasted 5 Minutes of Your Life

While I don't seriously expect an answer, this was more of an original way of delivering my "It's Time For a Yard Sale" piece to all of you. If I do get a response from the Islanders, you'll be the first to know.