Neil Smith relieved of duties
Former Islanders goaltender Garth Snow has retired as a player to become the new general manager of the New York Islanders.
"I spoke with Garth at length throughout the spring about the general manager's position and he really impressed me with his passion and his knowledge," said Islanders owner Charles Wang. "When the job opened up, the choice was an easy one. Garth knows the league as well as anyone, has an eye for talent and understands how our staff works as a team. Most importantly, Garth is a man of integrity, someone I trust will work hard, be creative and represent the Islanders with dignity."
As Islanders GM, Snow will be the point person for trades and oversee the pro scouting department. Snow becomes part of a hockey operations staff that also includes head coach Ted Nolan, player development director Bryan Trottier, chief amateur scout Tony Feltrin and pro scouting director Ken Morrow.
"This is a proud moment for me, a dream come true," said Snow, who will be 37 on July 28. "It's an opportunity I wanted more than anything. I look forward to working with Ted, Pat, Bryan and the scouts. Islander fans can be assured that this franchise is going to do everything in its power to bring another Stanley Cup to Long Island."
Last season was Snow's fourth with the Islanders and 12th in the NHL. The goaltender was 135-147-43 with a 2.80 GAA and .901 save percentage over 368 games with Quebec, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Pittsburgh and the Islanders. Originally selected in the sixth round by Quebec in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, the native of Wrentham, Mass. signed with the Islanders as a free agent on July 1, 2001.
A STATEMENT FROM ISLANDERS OWNER CHARLES WANG
Islanders owner Charles Wang announced today that Neil Smith has been relieved of his duties as general manager.
Said Wang: "As I made clear at the press conference last month, we are running this as a business, incorporating the opinions of our hockey operations staff - including Ted Nolan, Garth Snow, Bryan Trottier and Pat LaFontaine. Despite Neil's commitment to me that he could work in this environment, he later expressed to me on a number of occasions his philosophical opposition to our business model.
"In light of our differences, I felt that I had no choice but to make this decision in the best interests of the Islanders and our fans. I'm very proud of our draft and the roster additions our staff made this month. Our fans should know that with Ted, Garth, Bryan and Pat helping to lead the way, the Islanders are in very good hands."