Today is a watershed day for the New York Islanders. Maybe just important as the four Stanley Cup anniversaries and Mike Bossy’s birthday.
Yes, today is the day you can mark as the day the adults came back in charge of the Islanders and the franchise is finally in good hands with Lou Lamoriello at the helm.
“First of all, I was impressed with the conversation I had with Scott Malkin, his vision, his commitment, his support to the Islanders,” Lamoriello said. “I also look at it as a challenge to bring the Islanders back to where they were.”
Islander fans suffered through almost 23 years of bad management from Mike Milbury’s bumbling to the one month of Neil Smith’s reign and then Garth Snow for the last 13 years.
Lamoriello comes in and becomes the supreme leader for the hockey operation. Although, snow still is on the payroll, Lamoriello said no decision has been made, as of yet, for him or coach Doug Weight.
“Right now I have no pre-conceived notions,” he said, multiple times. In a situation like this, “You take a step back, talk to the people in place and their vision and ideas, and then make decisions as we go along.”
It’s the smart move from an executive, who made nothing but intelligent decisions over the years with the Devils and Leafs. Although many Islander fans would like to see Snow barred from the building today, Lamoriello will be patient. Why not? Any move Snow makes now has to be approved by his new boss, so there will be a buffer.
But time isn’t something Lamoriello has on his hands. He needs to make the pitch to free agent to be John Tavares. Multiple reports have said Lamoriello met with Tavares in the last week, something Lou was very cagy about and non-committal.
“Please don’t take this as a denial or a confirmation, and just know that anything on conversations with players, coaches, [etc.], I’m never going to comment on that.”
That classic Lamoriello, who has always been non-committal with the press. In Jersey, he ran the entire show, including the business side. On the Island he will be just trying to put an good roster together.
One thing is for certain, Lamoriello will pull the trigger.
Snow, over the years has been criticized for not adding the necessary players at the deadline and offseason, leaving the Islanders short. Lamoriello will not do that. He sees the farm system is a feeder for the NHL roster and will be willing to move prospect to win now.
That’s important with Tavares, who is in his prime and not willing to go through a rebuilding process. It also could mean Ilya Kovalchuk could come to the Island, rather than Broadway, due to the winger’s relationship with Lamoriello.
It makes Rangers vs. Islanders a whole lot more interesting.
As does Devils and Islanders, since you have to think Lamoriello wants to stick it to his old employer with the way they pushed him out.
It makes hockey in the area a whole lot better.
The adults are back in charge of the Islanders.