It is probably not fair to Lou Lamoriello to blame him for not retaining John Tavares. After all, what organization shakes itself up when trying to retain their best player? Especially so late. I mean… if they were going to do it… do it as soon as the season ends. It was done months later.
That would be on the Isles owners.
Sure, perhaps the team needed it. I’ll give you that. But ask yourself how many teams changed their GM and Coach when their franchise player is about to be a free agent?
Furthermore… especially when that player has good relationships with those people. This seems ignored by just too many. He was very close with Doug Weight and liked Garth Snow. Plain fact.
I get that John Tavares is the enemy and many fans are bewildered and hurt deeply. Many will blame Garth Snow too for not trading him. But let me tell you something and add a little nuance to the situation…
NO franchise player of JT’s caliber is retained without the owners weighing in.
Let me repeat myself….
The owners made the ultimate call.
That is how it is done.
So you can blame Garth for many items over the last few years and be exactly right. But if you think he made the ultimate call on Tavares not being traded… you are simply fooling yourself. That is NOT how it works with that level of player.
Fans are going to need to reconcile the GM and coaching change as costing them their best player. Decide which was better. Or decide down the line. But the vilification of Tavares needs some much needed clarity and introspection.
Oh, you think Weight and Snow have nothing to do with it? Ok. Maybe. But we can revisit that opinion down the line after some articles and pieces. I believe there is an untold story here and a promise that was made to one of them by JT… which he didn’t have to stand by when they were no longer there.
Which wasn’t necessary. Lou chose to fire both and admitted that he did not consider or include thought on the effect on retaining John Tavares. That is on record.
Whether you agree or not, by changing everything… and most for the better… IT DID MAKE the Isles really a new entity. That does affect perception on remaining versus new teams (also unknowns). So the Isles were no longer a 100% familiar attribute. Can we at least agree here?
Either way… some reveal is needed to the what and whys. Not assumptions and knee jerk reactions.
Plus… do we really know if Garth Snow wanted to keep Tavares or trade him at deadline? That seems to be an important piece as well.
Meanwhile Tavares went to Toronto, as I warned midday yesterday was becoming very clear. Isles team management were already extremely pessimistic on retaining Tavares back on Friday. A tough pill for Isles fans to swallow left in the wake of poor Canadian outlets piling on Long Island and the team with a lack of any insight. Instead, it is what is a long line of denigration that continues since the Milbury days.
This probably hurts the most.
The Islanders are not left doomed, no matter the idiotic outlet citations. Though today’s awful signing of Komarov was no prize at 4 years for a 4th line player.
Oh, and according to the excellent and well-connected @mayorNHL, Komarov got a Modified No Trade (7 team no trade list) included in his deal. So not the best start for Lou at the wheel.
However, this is a team with a lot of attributes and talent in key spots. This is despite the gaping hole now in the top 6 at Center besides “that kid who won the Calder”.
Plus you have a far more experienced coach with a loooooong successful track record at the tiller for once.
We have to hope Lou does a bit more analytical approaches to other free agent signings. I’d prefer none, really because we have already seen that free agent signings is overpayment vs what you get.
Honestly, the gaps at goalie, top 4 D, and help at center would be best addressed via trade.
The team has yet to have ANY true gap or weak point adequately addressed right now. .. well, except coach. Ok, that was filled in nicely. We can all agree to that.
So we wait and see. Until then… there is no joy in Isles Country. Just the bitter taste of more of the same. So Lou better find those pieces and fill those needs…
So we can rub it back in their faces.