BLOG POST

My Application for the Position of President of Hockey Operations, New York Islanders

By Danny Radical

This blog is a reprint from the posting I made about 8 months ago. Since then, not a single thing has changed. Call me Nostradamus.

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To: Ownership of the New York Islanders

Please consider this letter as a declaration of interest and application for the position of President of Hockey Operations for the New York Islanders. This position is one that is unique and exciting, and it deserves someone who also fits that description. In fact, based on the organizations prior actions, I may be your ideal candidate.

Presently, I have zero experience in operating a hockey team. This should be an advantage compared to other veteran candidates, as this organization has been a trend setter in working with inexperience. The following head coaches took over the Islanders without a single game of experience as a head coach in the NHL: Phil Goyette, Earl Ingarfield, Terry Simpson, Bill Stewart, Peter Laviolette, Steve Stirling, Brad Shaw, Scott Gordon, Jack Capuano, and Doug Weight. It's not surprising that for most of those coaches, it was the ONLY time they were head coaches in the NHL. While this in itself isn't a bad thing, you rarely see that kind of hiring pattern in organizations like New York, Montreal, Boston, Detroit, Anaheim, and any other organization that consistently wins. But why stop at the bench? Lets look at management.

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The present General Manager had no experience in managing anything ever before his promotion from goalie to running the roster. He currently has no experience in managing his waist line. The previous owners had no experience in even watching the game of hockey, or in navigating the politics needed to get an arena deal done. A former owner had no experience with having actual money. And two former owners had no experience in how to stay out of jail.

And what about the fan experience? Most fans have no experience with competent management. They do experience a horrible train terminal that has no concessions, no waiting area, and incompetent conductors (http://abc7ny.com/news/exclusive-lirr-warned-of-risks-before-atlantic-terminal-crash/1708761/), but that would hurt my application, so I'll exclude that. Fans have no experience with an honest assessment of their team or coaches by their front office. And fans have actually lost experience with having quality sightlines, a centered scoreboard, a short commute to a game, and tailgating.

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So aside from a lack of experience, what assets do I provide that will make me a top notch team president? There are a few skills that I have that would make me stand out from the other candidates. These include:


1) A dictionary. This can be used to look up the word accountability. No one has used that word in this organization in over two decades, so a refresher course would be ideal.


2) Criticism. A team in which the owner publicly stated was a year behind a schedule for progress- who then went on to miss the playoffs (http://www.lighthousehockey.com/2013/9/12/4722160/charles-wang-new-york-islanders-core-culture-philosophy) - not only did not fire any of the management, not only did not add staff to help, but sat next to the general manager at the next year's draft. Where the GM promptly drafted another minor league buried bust. And still keeps his job. I can assure you, that kind of crap stops here.

3) Expectations. Every member of a winning organization should start with the basic premise of "we can win, and we will take steps to get there if we aren't." Garth Snow is the fifth longest tenured General Manager in the NHL. His career accomplishment was winning a first round playoff series. His teams have made the playoffs three times in 11 years. At current pace, his teams will miss the playoffs after making them the year before for a second time (Note: They did indeed miss). The expectations I would have would be to take a step forward and clearly not another step backward.

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4) Twitter. Check out @JoshBarely. It's the Donald Trump account of hockey. And that guy got a job by winning the unpopular vote!

5) I'm a fan. Unlike most of the players who are here because you pay them, many of us fans show up because we actually like the team. Liking the team makes me want them to do better. And as any #IslesRealist knows, this team can do better with just a few major changes- namely a head coach and a new GM- and some minor roster moves.

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So what would be the first week as president? Easy. Fire everybody working in the decision making areas of hockey operations. Even Islanders "legend" Eric Cairns. Ken Morrow can stick around because he was the only amateur to win an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup as a professional in the same year, and that's pretty badass. The rest have had a decade of living easy. The current crop of crap has already replaced Capuano, so that's one less exit meeting.

After the exodus, there would be interviews for coaches and management. All would have one basic requirement- they have previously won a Stanley Cup as a coach or general manager. I know its a short list, so you may have to poach some candidates.

Another requirement? Prior NHL experience at the same position. That's not always a tell tale sign, but who wants another Terry Simpson? Or Jack Capuano?

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By the way, I'm not sure why this is a still open position, since its creation was announced before the season started. But if you let Garth Snow hire another coach or run another draft for this team as you dilly dally with time, you're setting your team back another three years.

Lastly, I'd like to discuss compensation. My signing bonus would be to personally fire all of the people who have turned my beloved team into a tire fire. That's free money, folks!

Next, I would ask to be paid the AVERAGE salary of an NHL team president. Not the usual Islander approach of lowest paid in the league at their position. Even their mascot is the lowest paid in the league. He told me himself (2 guys share that job btw). The reason for such would be that it signals a change in the team philosophy, and would make the hockey world think that maybe we're not a second rate organization anymore.

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Finally, I'd want to install Garth Snow's desk in the lavatory as a toilet. He's been sitting around it doing shit for a decade, so it'd be used to it.

Thank you for your time. I'll follow up next week with a phone call and a list of head coaches you may want to consider for the job. The name Doug Weight will clearly be absent from that list.

Sincerely,
Danny Radical

Update 2/22/18- To truly understand how stupid of a move it is to have Snow as General Manager, consider this- how much mockery and shame would we throw at Rangers fans if they announced tomorrow that their next GM was Ondrej Pavelec? Because that's exactly what Charles Wang did 12 years ago to us.

Follow Danny Radical on twitter at @JoshBarely