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Lou calls for delayed snow removal – GM Snow and Head Coach Weight relieved of duties

Oh my goodness Islander fans. It actually happened.

Garth Snow is actually gone and Lou Lamoriello is now running this ship, for better or worse. In addition, Doug Weight has also been relieved of his head coaching duties. According to the statement given by the Islanders, they are to remain with the organization.

So first to dispel any rumors or heresay, the only reason why they’re staying with the organization right now is so when they do resign, the Islanders won’t have to buy Garth Snow out. No one in their right mind is going to stay as a “special advisor” for the team that just canned them. It isn’t happening and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Weight and Snow re-sign by the end of the week.

Lamoriello runs a very tight ship and he wasn’t kidding when he said he would take the time to go through every aspect of the organization. Clearly he saw that things weren’t working and the Islanders needed a spark, and he probably also wants to bring his own guys in here as well.

Weight probably deserved another shot with an improved roster but giving up nearly 300 goals in a season and completely tanking in the second half didn’t bode well for him. Snow being relieved shows that Lou is always about winning first, not friendship, which is something that the Islanders seem to have been missing for a while.

The Islanders of the past 15 years were run like a country club. They had very small, boutique like scouting teams, a Mickey-Mouse feel and an inability to make hard choices. If this was most other teams Garth Snow would have been fired five years ago, but Charles Wang was too loyal and quite frankly was in Garth Snow’s pocket the entirety of their time together.

Lou bringing immediate changes means that he is willing to do anything and everything to improve thid team and make them a Cup contender. As Dan Saraceni alluded to so eloquently, the Islanders were finally able to get off that treadmill they seemed to be on for 20 years or so. Gone is the country club atmosphere and in is the no nonsense, accountability approach.

I keep bringing up the word accountability, but this is exactly what the Islanders need. Accountability is firing people who couldn’t make it work and setting yourself up for excellence in the future. It’s about making tough decisions and being able to live with those decisions. It’s not necessarily a “my way or the highway” approach but it’s pretty damn close.

Lastly, what does all of this mean for John Tavares? There is not a chance in hell that Lou did not bring this up to him during their meeting. Their meeting was confirmed not to be about contract talks but about the direction of the team. This is a surefire sign that he stays.

There have been many sources (Candian of course) that have said due to Weight and Snow being relieved of their duties that JT is gone. Tavares cares about winning, not about being loyal to the point of mediocrity for 12 years. I’m sure he cares about Snow and Weight but not to the point where he won’t consider re-signing with the team.  As said before, Lou is committed to doing whatever it takes to win a Stanley Cup and the first step is to remove the dead weight.

During Lou’s short press conference on Tuesday afternoon, he kept all answers concise and vague.  Here’s a rundown on some of his points:

  • Lou stated that Snow and Weight will remain with the team, as he “appreciates their eyes and ears”
  • The coaching search will begin immediately but for right now everything else is status quo
  • Status quo means that the assistant coaches are not let go (yet), he is GM until further notice, and a coach has not been named yet
  • This decision was not in any way affected by or made to influence John Tavares’ pending free agency
  • Lou really does not give anything away in his press conferences

Regardless of what may come of this, whether or not Tavares stays, it’s a positive sign that the owners seem to actually be listening.  Things are tense right now on Long Island, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  The Islanders have for such a long time been complacent with being a middle of the road team with very few resources.

This is Lou’s team now, and because it’s his team he is going to do things his way.  It’s a beautiful day in Islanders’ history because it’s the turning of a new page in God knows how many turbulent chapters.  There have been many ups and downs throughout the past few years as an Islanders fan but there’s always one thing that’s for sure;  It’s always an interesting time.

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