(note: contains some potentially NSFW links)
In a recent blog post about where the team stands heading into free agency, Newsday's Arthur Staple penned the following description of Islanders general manager Garth Snow, which was both hilarious and apt:
Now, it's important to remember that Garth Snow doesn't act with the overarching urgency that all us laypeople assume is required to be a general manager. He's the Big Paulie of the NHL GMs -- he moves slowly because he doesn't have to move fast for anyone.
In case anyone needs their memory jogged, here's the Big Pauly Staple was talking about. Just picture Snow as mafia head Paul Cicero in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas in place of award-winning actor and pasta sauce magnate Paul Sorvino.
Non-made guys like us don't know how or how often Snow speaks with NHL agents. But we do know how often he speaks publicly, and we know it's not that often. He reminds me of when we were kids, and the comparés used to visit one another and there was this man. He would never talk. He would just sit there all night and not say a word. So they said to him, "whatsa matter, comparé? Don't you talk? Don't you say anything?" And he says, "What am I gonna say? That my wife two times me?" So she says to him, "Shut up. You're always talking."
In Italian, it sounds much nicer.
Anyway, Snow just isn't a guy who says much. He does two, maybe three radio interviews a year. And even when he does, you can kinda guess what he's going to say before he even says it. He'll say he likes his group, but if he sees an opportunity to improve, he'll explore it. He'll say he likes the team's pool of prospects and doesn't expect to move any of them for short term improvements. He'll say ownership has always given him the green light to make whatever additions he feels necessary. He'll say his team plays in world class facilities. Then he and the hosts will exchange "thank you"s and it's back to the Cone of Silence.
The one time he said something was when John Tavares got whacked at the Olympics. And it went over about as well as ordering spaghetti with marinara sauce and getting egg noodles with ketchup.
As frustrating as that can be as a fan who wants to devour any and all information they can get about their team, there's a reason why Snow is like this. And we just got a public reminder.
The Vancouver Canucks will pay for general manager Jim Benning's candid comments.
The club was fined US$50,000 by the NHL on Tuesday afternoon for tampering, a violation of by-law 15.
Benning mentioned the Canucks' interest in Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban and Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos while on TSN Radio 1040 in Vancouver last Thursday ahead of the NHL draft in Buffalo.
So Jimmy Roast Beef strides into Buffalo in a brand new pink Cadillac he bought under his mother's name as a wedding present to himself, and throws around names like Subban and Stamkos thinking it was no big deal. Meanwhile, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was never taught the two greatest things in life and ratted Jimmy Roast Beef out.
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters afterward that Benning "crossed the line" in divulging trade conversations involving Subban. Bergevin was forced to speak out on the subject last Thursday, insisting that he was not shopping Subban but only listening to inquiries from opposing teams.
Thanks to his mouth, Benning's team is fifty grand lighter and he had to apologize to Bergevin and Steve Yzerman like he was a regular schnook. He's currently in the NHL Witness Protection Program and can't say a word.
Sometimes, speaking your mind is a good idea. And sometimes, you can end up dead at a poker game. Just ask Spider.