Ah, so that explains it.
One reason the Post’s EXCLUSIVE!!1 with former Islanders GM Garth Snow — who pretty much hadn’t spoken in five years — featured such relatively “meh” non-news (the main headline was that Garth Snow says John Tavares shouldn’t be blamed for ownership not wanting to entertain walk-year trades) is that they were saving the real dirt for the Post+ paywall.
If the initial free-and-open-to-the-wide-world-of-Post-pornbait story was seen as Snow just trying to make himself look good for potential future employers, the subscriber-only follow up was anything but.
In short, Snow ‘fessed to being behind both of the 2014 first-round picks that amounted to nothing:
- On Michael Dal Colle (selected 5th overall), he said scouts wanted Nikolaj Ehlers (selected four slots later at 9th overall), but he overruled them in part because Ehler shared Nino Niederreiter’s agent, and that guy was kind of a dick. In Snow’s mild defense, Dal Colle was widely seen to go around #5-7, so it wasn’t a reach. But his own scouts apparently knew better.
- On Josh Ho-Sang, Snow shared that scouts did not want to pick him at #27, but Snow had a cowboy moment and overruled them. (They didn’t exactly miss on any big or sure-fire names immediately following, though Adrian Kempe and Ivan Barbashev have had nice careers.)
Anyway, if the initial article reflected Snow completely missing (or intentionally ignoring...you never know) why the Islanders fanbase was so fed up with John Tavares (and the whole process of lies, half-truths and norther media trolling) that led to his departure, then the follow-up reflected some of the traits that were his biggest weakness as GM: Being too damned stubborn and rebellious to the point of self-destruction. It’s that trait of the maligned who see the world against them and turn everything into a “I’ll show them,” even with people who are actually trying to help you.
How Snow got the job (a backup goalie promoted by an eccentric owner) and how much mocking the Islanders received at the time seems to have turned into a dangerous cocktail that fed some of his worst moves as GM.
Sometimes that “we’ll show ‘em” streak paid dividends, such as in his continent-wide Waiver War that netted Evgeni Nabokov (against his wishes), Michael Grabner and Thomas Hickey, and the trade for Lubomir Visnovsky (against his wishes) and the prescient long-term, low-AAV deals for Frans Nielsen. Other times it resulted in over-thinking things (the Moulson for Vanek stretch and the Okposo for Ladd decision, the Grabner salary dump that resulted in a poo-poo platter plus one future star Snow’s Islanders never even played).
As most rational observers have always said, his tenure was a mixed bag. It’s impossible to know what he would have done under different conditions; it’s also impossible that he would’ve gone straight from goalie to GM in any other conditions, too.
- Ethan Sears, the Post beatwriter behind the above two pieces, caught up with Matt Martin, who naturally said he hopes the Identity Line sticks together again. Perhaps a former Ranger or Hudson Fasching threatens that though. [Post]
- Stan Fischler appreciates an underappreciated Noah Dobson. [THN]
- Oooh, look! The NHL and NHLPA are working on an arrangement where they’d alternate Olympics and World Cup-style tournaments, just as Bossy intended. (Pssst...I’ll be way more interested in the latter.) [NHL]
- Auston Matthews re-signed with the Leafs for a bunch of money and just four years. [TSN]
- Alexis Lafreniere re-signed with the Leafs for a little bit of money and just two years. He’s gonna be a bust, isn’t he. [TSN]
- The Oilers extended Evan Bouchard for two years and $3.9 million per. [TSN] That’s a bridge deal so they can focus on winning the Cup (lol) in the current cap environment. [Sportsnet]
- Justin Bourne is here to tell you why the Matthews “only four years” extension is a win-win for both parties. (Which, I mean, sure, the Leafs keep their star and he keeps his flexibility, allowing him to return home once the Coyotes finally have an arena.) [Sportsnet]
- Brady Tkachuk so, so badly wants to pull off the between-the-legs move. [Silver Seven]
- Here’s a random thing: The top under-23 goalies in the NHL. [NHL]