I confess I have not been fully dialed into reactions to Garth Snow’s interview with Ethan Sears of the New York Post, but my initial impression — and I almost feel traitorous about this — was different from what I’ve seen from many commenters and some of my favorite pundits, including our Islanders Anxiety buddies:
I can’t help feeling many reactions are fanned by the news drought of the last couple months, but to me there’s nothing new there and even the “Tavares doesn’t deserve fans’ scorn” sentiment is pretty unsurprising from Snow’s perspective, and it didn’t sound extreme given his role in the situation and the PR optics. It didn’t sound like some Barst**l blowhard giving it to Isles fans for some manufactured fratboy reason.
I’ll say this, I do get the reaction that Snow would’ve been better off leaving the Tavares topic alone, that’s for damned sure. If he’s ready anything since The Exit he should get that.
But I imagine in Snow’s eyes, he and Tavares were trusted partners from the moment he was drafted with a wink in 2009 and the year he extended after his ELC in the face of all those “he needs to escape Long Island” pleas from Toronto media. Snow sounds like he thought (or would like us to believe, which are definitely always the same thing) he was hamstrung by a “lack of trust” with the new ownership, and that is just as much why Tavares was able to flee in 2018.
Anyway, it just felt like there was nothing new in the article, reminding me of how restrained he was in public comments while GM (except for the occasional “They shit on me too” moment). I saw the reactions to the article, and I saw the very Post-ified headline (Everything is a must-see apocalypse!), and then when I read the piece I thought: “...that’s it? That’s all there is? Five years of waiting, very mad people online, and that’s all there is?!”
Guy speaks for one of the first times in five years, thanks to the near-lifetime parachute he received from Charles Wang, and he basically tells us what we’ve already heard before: It wasn’t his decision not to explore trades for Tavares...he would’ve done some of the same things Lou did except no one would let him (like sign Leo Komarov for four years?!). And the Post, of course, makes the headline, but it doesn’t sound like he broke his silence to defend Tavares — in some ways, sounding like Lou Lamoriello on the subject (“he had every right to make his decision”), except for the name-and-blame Malkin part.
If I waited five years to speak (so I could collect every check), I think I’d unload when the time finally arrived. But he didn’t really torch the franchise, he didn’t torch the fans (he just said he feels bad Tavares gets flak), he didn’t even make a dramatic argument for why his tenure should be seen as great or whatever. He just said, yeah, things were a mess at times, Brooklyn sucked but was necessary, and Wang saved the Isles. Yada yada.
In the end, he waited so long to speak because he wanted to keep the money that was coming to him thanks to Wang’s parachute. (Now, with his contract finally over, “I’m not under anyone’s control,” and he can give a nothingburger interview.) It was an understandable choice, but it doesn’t really lend much credibility to what followed.
- Emergency Islanders Anxiety reaction: ‘I’m not under anyone’s control.’ [LHH]
- The article in question. [Post]
- Maven’s Memories: The pivotal offseason of 1973, where some pretty significant changes happened. [Isles]
- This week in Isles history: They eliminated the Capitals in the playoffs? The pandemic was a weird time. [Isles]
- How Long Island military veterans use hockey to heal. [Newsday]
- Totally unrelated to discussions of Islanders regimes, I assure you: The Islanders prospect pipeline is ranked pretty low. Like, damn near the very bottom. [Athletic]
- The Sharks added Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller to their front office. Both are former Sabres teammates of GM Mike Grier. [Sportsnet]
- Jonathan Bernier retires after a weird journeyman career. [Sportsnet]
- Mackenzie Weegar is optimistic about the Flames’ chances to rebound. [Sportsnet]
- Question marks remain for...Canadian teams. [TSN]
- Who are the top candidates for the NHL’s captainless clubs? [Sportsnet]