Friday, October 13, 2006

More on the Wang way

This week's issue of The Hockey News is the magazine's Bucks & Pucks issue, and one of the cover stories once again delves into the story of New York Islanders owner Charles Wang.

And while we've heard all kinds of anecdotes about Mr. Wang to date, THN senior writer Ken Campbell (formerly of the Toronto Star) mines a new tidbit about the disarray in the organization that I think bears mention:
Wang is walking a perilous path, however, when it comes to franchise building. His minor pro coach has almost no experience coaching elite level hockey. This summer, all but three members of the scouting staff left because they didn't like where the amateur scouting department was heading. Former scout Doug Gibson, who now works for the Montreal Canadiens, claims Wang doesn't believe in amateur scouting and the current Islander regime will spend about 25 per cent of its time on amateur scouting and 75 per cent on pro scouting. He said the scouts had almost no input in last June's draft and were basically ordered by former GM Smith to take Kyle Okposo in the first round.

"If there had been a camera on our table, it would have been interesting," Gibson said, "because (the scouts) were flabbergasted at some of the names that were being thrown around."
Granted, we'd known things were a mess on Long Island simply because of how the whole Smith/LaFontaine/Snow fiasco went down, but this is a good tangible example of how a screwed up hockey hierarchy can affect the team itself.

One can only imagine what other shenanigans have factored into the team's current 1-3 record.


At 10:48 a.m., October 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Nothing surprises us with respect to the loonacy on the Island
2) Chairman Wang is clearly controlling every aspect of the organization. Having an owner this involved is usually not good, BUT to have a owner who admittedly knows little to nothing about hockey equates to a disaster
3) We thought the Isles of the mid-late 90's were a joke. The next 5-10 years will be the real dark ages for this once proud franchise!

At 11:01 a.m., October 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1)Post script: Its a shame there isn't a clause in the NHL by-laws that can relieve an owner from day to day hands on activity if he/she displays psychologically unstable behavior
2) Could call it the Harold Ballard clause?

At 11:01 a.m., October 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Methinks Wang must be Ballard reincarnated, RIP you old bugger...

At 12:20 p.m., October 13, 2006, Anonymous bryon said...

Wang's incompetence notwithstanding, I wonder if this is a sign of things to come with regards to pro vs. amateur scouting.

The new CBA devalues drafting & developing players to such an extent that it may ultimately be a very wise move to simply focus on the players that other teams are developing so that they can be pilferred at the age of 25, just when they're starting to hit their stride.

At 1:13 p.m., October 13, 2006, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

The Islanders are now heading into Tampa Bay Devil Ray territory, a land previously occupied as well by the New Orleans Saints and LA Clippers -- that is, chronic losers with brutal management, and absolutely no plan to become more competitive.

It's going to be interesting to see just how badly the League wants to keep a franchise in Long Island, because after two years of rock bottom finishes playing in an old arena, Wang will either be looking to sell to an owner in another city, or move himself.

At 2:14 p.m., October 13, 2006, Anonymous Kel said...

It's one thing to spend less time on amateur scouting and it's another thing to completely ignore the advice of the amateur scouts. Why keep an employee if all his work has zero influence on the organization. They should just focus 0% on amateur scouting then, just relying on NHL Central scouting rankings and/or luck.

At 3:32 p.m., October 13, 2006, Anonymous Brian said...

For the credibility of the league in general this guy should really be scrutinized by the NHL. He is truly a joke on a professional scale.

At 5:04 p.m., October 13, 2006, Blogger Wardo said...

Hey, cut the guy some slack. Wang is right - why waste any money scouting when key positions on the team are locked up for oh, 15 years or so?

Thanks to Wang's genius, the Islanders can ignore goaltending development until 2021. And once Yashin is inked to an extension, he'll have his "superstar forward" slot nicely taken care of, too.

Wang is the kind of brilliant innovator who isn't appreciated until he's gone.

*sarcasm off*


At 3:43 p.m., October 14, 2006, Blogger PJ Swenson said...

Read this article that was posted over the summer on Buffalo News, there is much more to the story.

Sabres review scouting, go to video.


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