There is a mitigating illusion held by Isles fans, writers, and bloggers…. only recently correcting itself with a rather large month-long skidmark…
It is that Jon Ledecky is THE owner, THE power, and the main guy behind the scenes.
He is NOT.
He is just one of the partners who hold shares along with Scott Malkin, Charles Wang, and Dewey Shay (a minority investor).
Ledecky might, in fact, have fewer shares than Charles Wang.
BUT, he is a big INFLUENCER, and has played the part as a cheerleader and been on the forefront to fans all season long…
Until it wasn’t so fun and empowering anymore.
Now it has snapped back and made him look very silly and made him a focal point of fan ire. Another awkward fellow to an altogether historically awkwardly run organization.
That IS what we saw at the Islanders press conference. Nothing more. Nothing less.
It certainly wasn’t the hyperbole and guesswork by some that somehow that Garth Snow and Doug Weight were going to be further evaluated. It was that the entire organizational structure and system will be.
AND that is where we will begin….
The NY Islanders have been in serious trouble since back before 2000, thanks to the SMG lease. When Charles Wang took it over, he wanted it run as it was back then… a small business mentality and acumen. This might have helped stave off the money leaking, but it did create some oddities and habits that this team is paying for now. This includes an awkward press conference misconstrued by many, and then a new PR statement with a softer tone the next day. Something most media ignored.
In theory, the internet and social media is a great place for crowdsourced (citizen/fan) journalism, analysis, and debunking. Instead, it has been stuck into shit-stirring, looking for an evocation of anger, blatant and deliberate manipulation, and the creation of near hysteria to expectations CREATED by rumors and pieces of information that some are hoping for.
It has become a space that only leaves fans frustrated even beyond the original mess of a season and missed playoffs.
The cyclical nature and pot-stirring only came up again in the last 4 weeks only to jerk fans around. Worst of all, the Isles organization remained silent once again, letting it happen because it never takes a proactive position. This is something that has irked me about the organization for years. It allows others to take advantage to create a parallel of reality… none of which came to fruition.
Now in mid-May we are hearing chatter that Lou Lamoriello might join the organization. Some of this makes sense to add someone who is a builder to an organization that needs a lot of development from the old Wang DIY structure. However, from what I hear, this would not remove Garth Snow from being the GM. Maybe not as Team President either.
Which certainly would not make fans very happy.
The organization, despite being at a Cap Max and bigger market and expectations, is still being run with that mentality and with those small-market mentality habits still ingrained.
See if this sounds familiar at all…
Any small business that is stepping up to be a bigger business must examine their internal structure and hierarchy in order to make sure their system and methodology don’t hold them back when it matters.
The Islanders for years and years were handled as super secret hockey operations, leaving some of their staff, scouting, and more to be left off their organizational charts and lists. They operated cloak and dagger, and for the most part, still, do.
So when Garth Snow plies their internal speak, which might be their own analytics/brain trust and a fair amount of reality distortion, in a ham-handed press conference with a public voice of ownership who seems just as disorganized and as bewildered, nobody is happy. It only magnifies the dissociative nature of this organization from the top on down.
Welcome to the big time, gentlemen. This must change.
And here is your big time reality… it’s time to step away from the kiddie table and join the adults, NY Islanders.
There are 30 other teams, many of them with far deeper hierarchy and organization, who operate readily to make that jump on a moments notice.
So the time to make that jump organizationally was when shit hit the fan the season before. Now it’s just another shining (or is it steaming?) example of the NY Islanders doing things at their own pace with an alternative mindset.
This time, however, the fans are having none of it.
Example 2 is shown in the NY Islanders key deficiency in young player development. This organization MUST have young kids rise and mix in as successful vets get re-signed (or walk) at a higher salary, in order to keep the quality going.
When player injuries happened, this organization was reticent to bring up kids thanks to a long history of slow development. This is not by chance. This is by organizational deficiency where NEED was to create depth and to assure development. This should have probably happened the last year at the barn so that things and players were ready in a functional atmosphere.
Instead, the season before last we had an experienced deficient coach about to be axed, Jack Capuano, who was lamenting on how long it takes for youth to develop. A year later, when injuries mount, they are again victimized by that very same thing with their new coach.
When is the NY Islanders organization going to grow up?
This is where the Lou Lamoriello rumors are attached to rhetoric and hyperbole of a few that he would replace the GM or Team President.
Whether fans want that or not, that does not look to be happening. Not in the way they hope. If Lou comes… it might be different to expectation. This is about adding context and hierarchy to draw out an organization that has far too long been left alone. Whether it be Lou or someone else, it is most likely to keep the GM and coach static, like it or not.
This is the organizational review that I believe Ledecky is alluding to.
This is what has now smacked them in the face. Yet, due to other deficiencies across their enterprise, even their statement to this very fact is flubbed and left a trail of confusion. And we are left with chatter, hope, confusion, and piecemeal rumors that many cling to as a life raft.
The NY Islanders history since the turn of this century of doing things their “unique”’ way has crashed to a billboard and many fans on social media fed-up and outraged. And another season of watching them miss the playoffs, can’t certainly blame anyone for being fed up.
But, let’s be clear on who is in charge… Scott Malkin.
And despite the perceptions from the peanut gallery from the Isle press conference, I hear Jon Ledecky is still a supporter of the Snow regime.
That unfortunately doesn’t seem to fit many people’s narratives, but we will see how things bear out.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.