Garth Snow mulls changes as Islanders try to right ship
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Garth Snow flew into Los Angeles on Saturday, along with Islanders owner Charles Wang, to watch the team extend its road losing streak to nine and go winless for the ninth straight game overall.
While Snow's players held a closed-door meeting for 10 minutes after the 3-0 loss to the Kings, Snow is pondering any number of changes to his roster and possibly his coaching staff.
"We're looking at all our options," he told Newsday on Sunday just before he and Wang flew to Northern California for the league's Board of Governors meeting at Pebble Beach. "The one thing we don't do, whether it's with the coaches or the players, is discuss conversations with anyone in the media. All the interactions I have with our team remain private.
"Obviously, we have some key players not performing at a high enough level. I understand the frustrations of our fans. We have those same frustrations in our locker room, in the coaches' room, for myself. We felt we had guys who were ready to take the next step. Now we're just trying to right the ship and win a few games."
True to his word, Snow declined to get into specifics about any changes he has in mind. Sources have said he has been trying to trade for a goaltender for weeks, but no deal has been satisfactory. Evgeni Nabokov, out since Nov. 16 with a groin injury, might return in the next few days, so that could put such a deal aside for now.
The Islanders also have Ryan Strome burning up the AHL with Bridgeport. Strome, 20, leads the league in scoring with nine goals and 24 assists, with 17 of those 33 points in the last eight games.
Snow would not comment on any possible promotion, but other Islanders sources indicated the team is trying to figure out a way to make room on the roster for Strome. The Islanders are at the 23-man limit right now, so Snow would have to trade or waive a forward to bring Strome up.
It's clear that Snow expects more from the current roster, which has gone 2-12-2 in the last 16 games.
"Times like these show people's true character," he said. "We're doing what we can to fix our problems and get some wins."