Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Smith fired, Snow hired, LaFontaine ired

Huh? I've heard the knock against Ted Nolan is that he's supposed to be a GM killer, but normally he doesn't work so fast. TSN (apparently the only hockey news site I read anymore) has just now reported that the Islanders have canned GM Neil Smith for as yet unknown reasons.

Smith, if you recall was hired a little more than a month ago after Mike Milbury fired his own as for years of gross incompetence, and he seemed to have been making some improvements, bringing in Chris Simon, Andy Hilbert, Brendan Witt and Tom Poti. It'll be interesting to hear what the reasoning is, if indeed we ever do.

Maybe someone told Charles Wang that Smith's wife hated living in New York and wanted to move to Edmonton.

Update: GARTH SNOW!!!!

UPDATE2: Senior adviser Pat LaFontaine just announced his resignation. TSN, again, beats everyone to the punch. At work so I can't link. But holy fuck!


mike w said...

This is what happens when a clueless owner hires a GM and a coach on the same day without asking either of them whether they'd be able to work together (remember when Pocklington went with George Burnett as Oilers coach?).

This might be a good thing for the Islanders. Neil Smith blowing $2.5 million a piece for Brendan Witt and Tom Poti, both defenceman with serious downsides to their game, was far from a breath of fresh air for the Islanders.

Mike Sillinger scored 32 goals last season, but he's also older than god and not likely to score 32 ever again. Neil Smith gave him $2.1 million over three years, which, even in this summer's inflated free agent market, seems like a lot for a player likely to fade into single-digit goal scoring in the last few years of his career. Maybe I'm wrong, but I wouldn't have been too pumped if I were an Isles fan. What a nutty organization.

Anonymous said...

Ummmmm..... GARTH SNOW??????

mike w said...

He he he. The Oilers suddenly seem so EFFICIENT and NORMAL, don't they?

Best quote:

"I spoke with Garth at length throughout the spring about the general manager's position and he really impressed me with his passion and his knowledge," said Islanders owner Charles Wang.

Charles Wang, who knows nothing about hockey, ends up being convinced that an ex-player with no GM-related experience knows a lot about hockey. Delightful! Why don't we have teams like this in the Northwest division?

Anonymous said...

Just got to work and OH MY GOD that is the craziest thing I could have possibly imagined happening. Who the fuck makes a terrible career backup who no previous front office experience the GENERAL MANAGER of their team? That is just in-sane. I'd love to hear what Islanders fans think about this.

Why couldn't this have happened on a team with players we'd actually want to dupe Snow for?

Ah... incredible.

Doogie2K said...

Wow. This is like firing Kevin Lowe and replacing him with Ty Conklin. Or Joaquin Gage.

Matt said...

>>Why don't we have teams like this in the Northwest division?

Sucks, doanit?

Scarlett said...

The owner should have no hand in signing GM's or coaches. That's what the President does, or should be doing.

Garth Snow? Seriously?? No experience in any type of hockey operations....what a joke!

allan said...

Could it be that they hired Neil Smith with the intention of pulling this move in the summer?

I know it's a bit of a conspiracy theory, but bear with me:

What UFA in his right mind would sign with this team this summer? They'd be a lot more likely to go to a team with a GM who has some sort of track record, and who may be able to right the ship.

So Smith came in, signed as many UFAs as they could afford, then was dumped for the man they wanted to give the job to in the first place.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

The Islanders have become ... the Leafs under Harold Ballard? The 70s Yankees under Steinbrenner?

Remember, for all you Oil fans disgruntled for some reason or another, it can always get worse.

Anonymous said...

"Remember, for all you Oil fans disgruntled for some reason or another, it can always get worse."

I think that's called understatement!

lowetide said...

Too bad Wang didn't own the team when Tommy Gun was in the island. He'd have been GM, President, CEO and adopted by Wang by now.

court said...

Crap. Does this mean I'm going to continue to see Smith's ugly mug doing game commentary? Eeew.