How’s This The Islanders Fault?

After what has transpired over the last – almost 48 hours now, one question remains and it’s not even about the destination of Bill Guerin.

Browsing many of the Islanders blogs and message boards, a certain contingent of fans who always focus on a negative (real or assumed) seem to be doing the same thing with this situation as well. In a world wrought with economic hardships and uncertainty and a league with some teams under salary cap scrutiny – how would a trade that is seemingly taking a long time automatically fault to the general manager of the Islanders?

Whenever the Islanders face any kind of adversity, the stigma that this team is a “Mickey Mouse Organization” seems to be thrown about with reckless abandon. I just don’t get it. I am a fan of this franchise and have been for pretty much my entire life. I was alive for the tail end of the dynasty and lived through the same negative stuff as everyone else during the early 90’s to mid 90’s (the ownership changes, Mike Milbury, Spano – you get the idea) as well as the questionable contracts (Yashin and DiPietro). I don’t wear orange colored glasses by any means, I just don’t understand this way of thinking. Why is this situation being questioned?

Let’s take stock of what we do know:

  • Bill Guerin acknowledged he would waive his no movement clause for the right deal.
  • It was speculated as many as eight teams were possible destinations – based only on being in the Eastern Conference.
  • At some point before the game on Saturday, a deal was either imminent or agreed on in principle. In order to protect their “asset”, the Islanders chose not to dress Guerin to avoid injury – common practice this time of year.
  • Elsewhere in the league, Derek Morris has been scratched indefinitely till the trade deadline. Notice that the Coyotes aren’t being blasted for that decision.
  • Little to no details have emerged on the progress of the trade, just speculation and the rare instance of actual sources. Perhaps this is the problem?
  • Deals sometimes take days to broker, especially when that team has too many contracts and/or they are too close to their salary cap.
  • Bill Guerin and perhaps even other players may also be involved in this deal, so it could be complicated.
  • Not many people have taken into account that the trade partner may even be waiting for another deal to occur first before trading with the Islanders.

Patience is a virtue that many followers of this franchise clearly don’t possess – what I really don’t understand is how people who preach that they wish this organization would just do the right thing would bash them when they are actually doing the right things. If Garth Snow wasn’t actively looking to make the team better through trades – the fans would be bashing him for not doing anything. If he decided to trade a player – he would be bashed for moving the wrong player, or for not getting enough return in the eyes of the fans. It just seems like this contingent of fans will NEVER be happy with the decision made by the team. It’s disheartening and really frustrating.

Just know this, come Wednesday at zero hour of the trade deadline – Garth Snow deserves to be evaluated on whatever he did or has not done – and no sooner. In terms of draft picks garnered last year and in the last week. Glen Sather told Tom Liodice and I at the airport in Ottawa last year “Ask me about how I did at the draft in five years” – he’s right, you cannot judge draft picks until they are ready to play in the NHL.

Bash me all you want for feeling this way, I just get sick and tired of the negativity.

Michael Schuerlein


  1. FINALLY!!! Been waiting for someone (anyone) to write an article with that direction, you couldnt be more correct about the overly negative outlook by all the “so-called” fans. I for one have been a fan since the moment the Dynasty ended (just too young) but have earned my stripes by rarely missing a game since. I am thoroughly enjoying watching this rebuild with the true gut feeling that this is finally being done the right way. Just look at the impact in the last few games, even through tonight, barely a drop off if any measure without the “Vets” and i think we played an AHL line up tonight. I for one am all for what Snow is doing, and definitely in favor of the direction Gordon is taking this team. Great article Mike, when are we going to see you in your seats again?

    • Maz,

      I came close to doing something like this a few times, but never wanted anyone to feel alienated by my opinion. For whatever reason this situation was the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak. I just get tired of the same rhetoric over and over again from this fan base. It’s like how I felt when everyone would boo Ryan Smyth tonight – it was sort of classless.

      I am fully supportive of what Garth Snow is trying to accomplish with the Islanders, case in point is Jesse Joensuu being recalled and scoring his first NHL goal in his first NHL game. We need to assess our youth and we need to get young in order to build on the future. It was great to see everyone pitching in tonight.

      I should be back in the seats after the Ranger game, there is someone I am friendly with who is a Rangers blogger I am trying to get a press pass for – so if he gets in I will be in the box again. Otherwise I should be there Saturday. I won’t be able to make the Sunday game, I have a practice for the Blue Point Brewery team and Steve Carlson from Slapshot is skating with us so it’s a can’t miss type of thing.

      Obviously you are in 309, this isn’t Anthony is it?

  2. Well Well Well….

    Let me be the first to bash you my friend. It’s a plain and simple formula why Islander fans are frustrated with the constant delay of the Guerin trade and that simple formula is “RESULTS”. This organization is probably the worst when it comes to results. You are talking about a franchise that won 4 cups in a row, being the most beloved team in the NHL in the 80’s to being a joke and in some cases the “minor” league team of the NHL. I know Snow is trying to rebuilt this team, and rebuilding does take time. But I honestly believe that time is something this franchise does not have. We need results and we need them now.

    I along with many of you were very happy with the recent progress on the Lighthouse project. It’s a good step in the right direction. But, now when you have your GM stalling on trading your Captain…It pisses people off because the fact that you can’t seal a deal and in my opinion the deal will probably die (That’s Islander Hockey for you). Fans who come out to the games and spend their hard earn money to see a very poor product on the ice don’t deserve this. Snow needs to wake up and start showing some results. If the isles win the lotto and get #1 pick. Snow’s the type of fool who would pick Hedman over Tavares. I know this because look at the whole Baily over Filatov thing (I am still sour over that). That event set the tone for the season before a puck was even dropped!

    So I leave you with this my friend. If you wish to stay blind and not see the lack of results this franchise has yet to accomplish. go for it. The most it will get you is a first round appearance and elimination in 5 games. As for me. I still think Garth Snow is a piece of trash until he puts a winning product on the ice.

    The Big One.

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