Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Neil Smith gets the boot


Hired by the New York Islanders a little more than a month ago, new GM Neil Smith has been pushed out already. Details are as yet unavailable, but the early word is that management wasn't happy with his work so far during free agency.

Smith's acquisitions to this point (Chris Simon, Mike Sillinger, Andy Hilbert, Brendan Witt and Tom Poti) have taken a lot of heat in New York, and frankly, the Islanders' roster doesn't appear as if it has improved at all this summer.

I don't envy the position this puts the team's next GM in. Of course, that man just may be Mike Milbury.

Be strong, Isles fans.

UPDATE Things just got a little wackier, as the Islanders have apparently named the team's current backup goaltender, Garth Snow, the new general manager. As much as I respect Snow as a person, he simply does not have the requisite qualifications for this job.

It's going to be a sideshow in Long Island this year, I'm afraid.

UPDATE One of the scenarios which was given some creedence on the local sports radio station was reports of some in-fighting between Smith and Pat Lafontaine, owner Charles Wang's self-appointed senior advisor. (This is unconfirmed.)

It's amazing how quickly things have changed since this was written.


At 2:01 p.m., July 18, 2006, Blogger ScottyWazz said...

How do you think this will affect Nolan's coaching duties??

At 2:01 p.m., July 18, 2006, Blogger PPP said...

Holy crap! That was quick! I guess Milbury couldn't stand seeing someone else making terrible decisions for his team.

I predict his 'search' for a replacement lasts all season. Can't see too many people jumping at the chance to have Mikey looking over your shoulder.

At 2:38 p.m., July 18, 2006, Anonymous David said...

Word is Islanders fans don't have to worry about Milbury returning.

The signings actually haven't taken a lot of heat here. Anyone who watched Witt in Nashville, not Washington is probably happy he's here and the rest received little criticism (maybe 3 years for an older Sillinger after a big year was a bit much). Of course, they haven't taken heat because coverage is light. Very light. At least the Islanders will be in the news again...

At 3:40 p.m., July 18, 2006, Anonymous Karina said...

Garth Snow as a replacement?

You've got to be kidding me...

At 3:48 p.m., July 18, 2006, Blogger Ryan Wolstat said...

Well, you can always count on the Islanders to do something really, really nonsensical.
What a joke of a franchise.

At 3:58 p.m., July 18, 2006, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

I highly doubt Neil Smith had any real control during his tenure.

BTW, all signings would have to be approved by the upper-d00ds, including Milbury. So, if Milbury was to fire Smith for making bad deals, Mad Mike is as much to blame for approving the stupid deals.

At 4:13 p.m., July 18, 2006, Blogger jmol2112 said...

1) I'm looking forward in the upcoming weeks to hear Neil Smith's real reason for leaving. We can all speculate if it was the Peca signing, Yashin, or Milbury, but until Smith talks no one will know
2) Bottom line the NHL's biggest joke just hit another low with this absurd move. Not only firing a GM after 3 weeks, but replacing him with someone who was on the active roster with NO NHL MANAGERIAL EXPERIENCE!!! If I weren't a fan I'd find this hilarious
3) No reason to actually find a current NHL executive who has actually handled a front office job. Heck no, hire a back up goalie. Someone who is already under contract so no additional cash need to be spent
4) Can you imagine what the other 29 GM's are thinking? Let alone what any free agents are/will think. This is an organization in total disarray. The problem is with a hands on owner who knows nothing about hockey! Those 2 things are a recipe for chaos and ineptitude. In other words, just another day in Uniondale.
Someone wake me up and say its just a bad dream!

At 4:18 p.m., July 18, 2006, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

I think this might help the Islanders get some free agent interest:

"Sign with the Islanders. Who knows, you might become GM someday."

At 4:42 p.m., July 18, 2006, Anonymous Doogie2K said...

Just close your eyes and pretend the real Islanders folded the day they went with the Captain Highliner jerseys, and that the team that's been using their good name ever since has been some sort of bad parody. It's the only way this can be justified.

At 5:05 p.m., July 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a complete joke. First to fire Smith after barely getting settled in and then MOST of all, to hire Snow as the GM. Snow?!?!?! A GM??? Maybe in 5-10 years when he's risen thru the ranks of hockey management but to make your backup goalie the GM of your franchise??? Absolutely incredible...

Wait a sec, did the spirit of Harold Ballard just invade Wang's body and now these are the results???

At 5:56 p.m., July 18, 2006, Blogger Rick said...

"Trade me right f---ing now!"

Heard throughout the Isles organization.

At 6:38 p.m., July 18, 2006, Blogger Tex Texerson said...

What the media have failed to report is Garth Snow turned around and signed Neil Smith to a 2-year deal to be the Isles' backup goalie

At 4:51 a.m., July 20, 2006, Anonymous beingbobbyorr said...

Excuse me, James, but where is the love for TB? He saw this coming from day 1 ...



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