Isles GM Garth Snow, coach Doug Weight say they expect to keep their jobs
Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky apologized to the team’s fans for another playoff-less season and emphatically said all aspects and members of the hockey operations department will be evaluated.
Yet general manager Garth Snow and coach Doug Weight, two lightning rods for the fans’ displeasure, said they have been led to believe they will return.
Ledecky opened Monday’s news conference at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow with a 203-word statement before leaving the podium and letting Snow and Weight answer questions.
When asked before the news conference if he will be coming back for his 13th season on the job, Snow told Newsday, “As far as I know.”
Weight and Snow concluded exit interviews with the players and, starting Tuesday, will begin plotting strategy for 2018-19.
“It starts again tomorrow morning for Doug and myself,” Snow said.
The Islanders concluded their first full season with Weight behind the bench at 35-37-10 and out of the playoffs for the second straight season. Weight, who replaced the fired Jack Capuano on Jan. 17, 2017, said he does not expect any changes to his coaching staff.
The Islanders have made the playoffs only four times since Snow was elevated from backup goalie to general manager on July 18, 2006. A first-round win over the Panthers in 2016 is the franchise’s lone playoff series win since 1993.
Snow was asked during the news conference why he deserves to stay on the job. “For me, 2006 when I took over this position, it was a situation where it was an all-out rebuild where we had to bring in talent through the draft,” he said. “Now we’re in a situation where we feel we can compete for a Stanley Cup.”
Said Ledecky, “We are committed to long-term success. Any decisions we make are for the long-term success of our hockey club. We win and lose together as an organization, not as individuals. Missing the playoffs is beyond disappointing. At the same time, we believe we have a strong core of players that will be the basis for our success on the ice.
“As an organization, we will be evaluating all aspects of our hockey operations. I’m not here today to talk about any specific individuals, including players, coaches and the general manager.”
Ledecky said the ownership group, including Scott Malkin, is “totally committed to winning and providing the resources to do just that.”
“As for the past season, as owners, we have failed,” Ledecky said. “We sincerely apologize to the fans.”
In February, angry Islanders fans raised enough money to post two billboards near Barc lays Center calling for Snow’s dismissal.
“There’s no denying our fan base . . . is probably the most passionate fan base in the NHL,” Snow told Newsday. “That’s a positive. We’re not satisfied with the season we’ve had. We’re disappointed and we’re going to fix it.”
Added Weight: “We have a great nucleus. I’m going to be better as a coach.”
Snow pointed to the development of young talent such as Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier this season. “The pressure is to have success and win,’’ he said, “and that’s what we strive to do every day.”
Notes & quotes: Beauvillier will play for Team Canada in the World Championships on May 4-20 in Denmark. John Tavares said he won’t play for Team Canada . . . The NHL released odds for the draft lottery. The Islanders’ first-round pick has a 3.5 percent chance of being the top pick and the first-round pick they acquired from the Flames in the Travis Hamonic trade has a 2.5 percent chance.