Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wild on the Island

We'll get to the main event for the day in a second. However, we do have some actually straight forward news about some things that did go on Tuesday.

First, Michael Peca signed a 1-year/$2.5M contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday. Some would think this is a lot for a guy who's scoring wasn't that good, but it's not the scoring which makes Peca so desirable. Quite frankly, his play shorthanded and his work in the face-off circle is what makes teams want him. Add that to his leadership qualities and you have yourself a guy many teams would want regardless of stats. Peca took the $1.5M paycut/hometown discount to play with the Leafs.

Also, Scott Walker was traded from Nashville to Carolina for Josef Vasicek. Both Walker and Vasicek played limited seasons this year due to injury, but when healthy, both will be effective on their new team. Walker will be a grinder for the Canes and should bring energy to the line-up, while Vasicek will be added speed to the Preds line-up.

Now for the main event, so to speak. If you're confused about the happenings on Long Island Tuesday....you're not alone.

For those who didn't hear or are still shocked, Neil Smith was fired as GM after 40 days of work. To replace him, former goaltender Garth Snow retired and will take over as the GM for the New York Islanders. Also, "special advisor" to the owner, Pat LaFontaine, reportedly resigned after the Smith dismissal press conference. Don't believe me?? Here's the link from TSN.

Obviously, the first reaction from most is that it was a joke....then is sank it. The common response was "Snow?? GARTH F'IN' SNOW?!? THE HELL!!??!" That is pretty dead on, along with some laughing because of the shamble of an organization that the Islanders have become.

So what caused this whole ordeal to go down?? Well, the reasoning is because of differences between Smith, LaFontaine, and owner Charles Wang. It seems that Smith wasn't really the GM, per se, but just the figure head. This is due to the Islanders having a system of playing GM by committee. With too many cooks in the kitchen, things are bound to burn. You can only assume that one move was lauded by someone while applauded by another, then you have in-fighting, which leads to the back-up goalie retiring and becoming the GM. More detailed things won't be known until Smith clears up some legal proceedings and goes to the public.

Just as a note, Garth Snow has no GM experience, no front office experience, I don't think he has a degree from UMaine, and he was a back-up goalie for the last couple of years. Charles Wang said:

"When the job opened up, the choice was an easy one. Garth knows the league as well as anyone, has an eye for talent and understands how our staff works as a team. Most importantly, Garth is a man of integrity, someone I trust will work hard, be creative and represent the Islanders with dignity."
Ted Nolan can only sit and hope that he's not the next one to go. The gongshow for the Islanders seems to be unfolding by the hour, so keep your eyes out for it.

Finally, we have finally posted our pictures from our 2006 Entry Draft online at the FOHS Photo Gallery, so if you have the time; go check it out.

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