Islanders GM Garth Snow emerged from his office at 5:30 pm to provide an update for his team’s fans during the first day of free agency in the NHL.
“We dropped a lot of lines in the water in the first two hours,” said Snow. “Some discussions ended quickly, some are still very much on-going. I don’t know yet if we’ll have anything to announce sometime tonight, but we are definitely working on a few deals. Way too early to tell. We’re going to be here a while.”
The general manager acknowledged he was interested in bringing former Islander (and longtime Snow friend) Mathieu Schneider back to Long Island. “There was some genuine interest there and we had a discussion,” said Snow, “but Matt had the opportunity to join the Stanley Cup champs on a very lucrative deal. I’m happy for him.”
The pursuit of a veteran defenseman continues as Tom Poti signed a four-year deal this afternoon with the Washington Capitals. “We pretty much expected to see Tom sign with another team today or tomorrow,” said Snow. “As I mentioned this morning, the climate for deals for solid defensemen changed a lot over the last few weeks. We thank Tom for his contributions to the Islanders last season and wish him the best in Washington.”
Snow continues to be joined by pro scouting director Ken Morrow and head coach Ted Nolan in his bunker at the Coliseum. The walls of his office are completely filled with vital information such as the names of the available top free agents, the depth charts of every NHL franchise and the priority list by position of Snow and his staff. Don’t mistake the lack of a signing – so far – as evidence all is quiet in Islanders Country.
“We are not going to jump into a deal that’s not in both the short-term and long-term best interests of the Islanders,” said Snow. “I’m very comfortable with our process. I know sometimes fans get frustrated when their teams talk about having patience, but the market has only been open for less than six hours. Ted, Kenny Morrow and I are on the same page. We’re not going to make a foolish deal that will hurt the future of our team. Whenever this process ends, we will be a better team.”