A few hours after the New York Islanders announced that general manager Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight had been relieved of those duties — though to remain with the club — Lou Lamoriello told reporters via conference call that the moves were done because a “culture change” was needed.
However, no other changes were announced. That includes the staff preparing for this month’s NHL entry draft in Dallas, and also, at least for now, the rest of the coaching staff.
Lou Lamoriello said he is "comfortable" with the work the current #Isles scouting staff has done toward the draft and says the draft is in their hands.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) June 5, 2018
Lamoriello said "culture change" was needed and that's why he let Snow, "a close personal friend," and Weight go. Said he's already reached out to both.— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) June 5, 2018
All of this is, of course, subject to change. It’s best to remember, always, that any news from Lamoriello comes only when he feels it needs to be decided or announced. He needed to signal decisive change at the top, and that’s what he’s done today.
Lamoriello said he reached out to Snow and Weight to let them know. But surely decisions on other coaching staff members are to come, even if that means retaining some of them.
Lamoriello says #Isles will hire best coach available. Everything else as far as new GM or assistant coaching changes is “status quo.” #Isles— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) June 5, 2018
What this does, however, is signal to current players and potential signings that not only is a new sheriff in town, but he’s done away with the other primary decision-makers of the past.
To be honest, Snow and Weight are probably still with the franchise in some capacity because they have been long-serving soldiers who are still under contract. So might as well make use of them and/or not create a severance agreement that risks paying them after they land a new gig with another team, however unlikely that might be.
Lamoriello: 'There are not specific roles laid out, but the respect I have for them as people and hockey people and I feel they can be valuable picking their brain in certain areas. It will be determined as we go along' #isles— Andy Graziano (@AndyGraz_WFAN) June 5, 2018
Lou Lamoriello calls Garth Snow a "personal friend." Says they've had meetings and conversations over last two weeks and a #NYI culture change is needed.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 5, 2018
Lamoriello also said, as you no doubt expected if asked, that the decisions were in now way affected by the prospects of being able to re-sign team captain and unrestricted free agent John Tavares.
Lou Lamoriello, on how today's #NYI firings may impact his ability to extend John Tavares: "That certainly has not and did not enter into any of the decisions that were made."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 5, 2018
So, now on the agenda:
- Find and hire a coach. And his staff.
- Conduct the draft.
- Get John Tavares (and Ilya Kovalchuk?) to sign.
- (Oh, and fined roles for the newly fired.)