After missing the playoffs this season by just a point, albeit in a year when they expected to be contenders, the Islanders have begun their off-season evaluations and must ask the tough questions if they want to improve in 2017-18. One of those questions is about the fate of GM Garth Snow. Snow, who has been on the job for over a decade now, made many moves this season that deserve some scrutiny. The firing of head coach Jack Capuano and promotion of Doug Weight seemed to work out; letting Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen (116 points combined in 2015-16) walk in free agency and replacing them with Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera (64 points in 2016-17) not so much. Snow’s job is safe for now, but the Islanders are doing their due diligence in reviewing the GM’s recent moves and plans for the future.
However, they are going about it in a strange way. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Islanders have been polling league executives to see how they think Snow has been doing. In theory, this is an interesting plan: hire and outside firm to get the opinions of peers across the league and avoid bias from within the organization. The execution is lacking, though. So far, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, despite some highly questionable moves. The reasoning behind this is relatively simple: What incentive does any rival executive have to be critical of Snow? If they think Snow is doing poorly, they can only benefit from the Islanders’ continued struggles while he is in charge and may even want to keep him in control of player operations in hopes of swindling him in a trade down the road.
This is clearly a flawed system and hopefully the Islanders are only taking this feedback with a grain of salt in evaluating Snow’s future. It would be a shame for Snow to lose (or keep) his job after all this time based on the faulty polling of competitors.