General Manager Garth Snow spoke to Islanders prospective ticket plan holders Thursday night and Friday afternoon, during an hour-long question and answer session with passionate fans. He addressed the upcoming NHL Draft, the current state of the team and what the future holds.
Fans piled into Nassau Coliseum for a buffet meal and an opportunity to ask Snow their most pressing offseason questions. Snow opened up by acknowledging the importance of the fans and making a promise.
“In my mind, everyone in this room is a part owner,” Snow said. “Your money from ticket and merchandise sales go into our investment of a player and ultimately the final product on the ice. I will not waste your money.”
There were several hard pressing questions such as what type of player will be selected in the draft, the long-term plans at the goaltender position, the second line center vacancy, team toughness and the team’s current identity.
Islander legend Mike Bossy stopped by the Thursday Q&A session and also addressed the crowd, discussing his experiences with the Islanders during the famous four-peat from 1980-83. Bossy spoke about how that team matured to become champions and how gaining the experience that these young players are getting is invaluable.
Islanders pride was on full display as many fans donned Islanders gear and jerseys of their favorite players. One fan, accompanied by his seven-year-old daughter, told the crowd a story of how Matt Moulson throwing his daughter a puck during warm-ups one game motivated him to purchase season tickets for the 2012-13 season.
Afterwards, Snow said the event was a great opportunity for the fans to interact and share their ideas with management.
“Especially in a tight knit community like Long Island, its great to communicate with the fans and hear their perspective,” Snow said. “What continues to amaze me is the passion our fans have regarding the direction of this organization and because of that passion, it makes my job that much more rewarding.”
At the conclusion of both Q&A sessions, fans went on a special tour of the locker room and training center, and also had the opportunity to sit in the new lower-level seats installed for next season.
With a young core in place and bright years ahead, Snow is relying on the fans to realize their importance.
“I remember a game against Toronto when I was sitting in the locker room before the game and heard the fans stomping and screaming on my way out to the ice,” Snow said. “Hearing that gives you extra energy and inspiration to go out and perform. Our fans are extremely important to our success both on and off the ice.”