The New York Islanders, a team often criticized by their fan base for their unchanging personnel and perhaps (dumb) loyalty to its staff, has finally begun the rebuild that fans have yearned for.
For many seasons fans have called for the firing of long-time General Manager and former Islanders goaltender, Garth Snow. This reached a peak this season as fans went so far as to start a fund and erect two “Snow Must Go” billboards near Barclays Center calling for his firing. However, season after season, fans were disappointed. Snow had been named GM in 2006 after announcing that he would be retiring as a player. The team only made the playoffs four out of the 12 seasons under Snow’s management.
With the Toronto Maple Leafs announcing on April 30th that their GM, Lou Lamoriello, would not return, many Islanders fans began to speculate that this could potentially be the answer to their prayers. Many fans felt that the Islanders were going to go after Lamoriello as Lou’s son, Christopher has been the team’s Director of Player Personnel since 2016.
On May 22nd those prayers were answered when it was announced by the New York Islanders that the man responsible for the success of countless NHL franchises was headed to the Islanders staff as the President of Hockey Operations. With this appointment fans were hopeful that Lamoriello’s first move would be to fire team President and General Manager, Garth Snow.
Again, the fan’s hopes were realized when the team announced on June 5th that both, Garth Snow as well as coach, Doug Weight had been relieved of their duties. This left the long-struggling New York Islanders without a coach and without a GM, a position that had fans excited. Lou Lamoriello then assumed the role of team General Manager himself.
With a long-awaited change to the General Manager position, fans now watched closely curious as to what would be Lamoriello’s next move. With many variables in the balance such as the re-signing of marquis player, John Tavares, and figuring out who would be behind the bench as head coach for the team, fans were hopeful that the Islanders could be Lamoriello’s next success story.
On Tuesday, June 18th it was announced that the Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals’ head coach, Barry Trotz had resigned due to being unable to reach a contract agreement. Fans speculated that the newly piloted Islanders were going to go after Trotz as a new head coach. This was confirmed on June 21st. Trotz signed on for a 5-year contract with the team and will reportedly be making about 4 million dollars per season.
With team star, John Tavares becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1st and ultimately signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, many will be following Lamoriello’s moves closely to see who the Islanders will try to acquire to replace their longtime franchise player.
The New York Islanders will certainly be a team to watch over the next few seasons. With the massive personnel overhaul, a talented young roster, and a new arena opening in just a few seasons, many fans hope that this is just the start of what could be an amazing run for the New York Islanders.