The 2013-2014 season was abysmal for the New York Islanders. At the start of the season, the Islanders and their fans had a lot to look forward to. The team had played their first playoff game in six years, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 6 games. With a virtually identical roster at the start of the year, the Islanders and their fans believed that there was no reason that they couldn’t make the post-season again this year. That was obviously not the case.
Garth Snow became the Islanders GM in 2006. Since then he has made many smart moves in the draft and in making trades and signing free agents. That consistency was thrown out the window this year, when Snow decided to trade Matt Moulson, a 2014 1st round pick, and a 2015 2nd round pick to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Thomas Vanek. This trade was horrible for so many reasons, the main one being the chemistry between Moulson and team captain John Tavares. Both Moulson and Vanek are UFAs at the end of the season, and if Matt Moulson hadn’t been traded he would have likely re-signed with the Islanders. Moulson and his family like it on Long Island and he was happy to play with John Tavares for many more years. Vanek on the other hand had made it known that he was unwilling to re-sign in Buffalo because they were a bad team. At the time of the trade, the Islanders weren’t as bad as Buffalo, but they were a very similar team to the Sabres as both teams are obviously not Stanley Cup contenders and won’t be for years to come. Vanek turned down all of Garth Snow’s contract offers, including one for 7 years and $50 million. Snow had turned down a reportedly substantial offer for Vanek from the LA Kings a week before the trade deadline, thinking that he would wait until the last minute for a team in desperate need of offense to overpay for Vanek. This was not the case. Snow traded Vanek to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for prospect Sebastian Collberg and a 2nd round pick, a mere 5 months after Thomas Vanek first arrived in Long Island. So in the end, Garth Snow basically traded Matt Moulson, Thomas Vanek, a 1st and a 2nd round draft choice in exchange for a mid-rate prospect and a 2nd round pick that is later in the draft then the one they shipped to Buffalo.
It’s time for a rebuild on Long Island. Garth Snow single-handedly stunted his team’s growth this year and hurt his teams draft for the next two years. Other than John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Travis Hamonic, and any worthwhile prospects, the Islanders should have a fire sale. The only problem is, outside of the untouchable players, the Islanders have hardly any trading assets. Islanders owner Charles Wang is reportedly interested in selling the club, and that’s exactly what they need. New owners, a new coach, and certainly a new GM. Once he’s off of the Islanders management, no team in their right mind would hire Garth Snow after this horrible gamble that didn’t pay off at all for the Islanders.