Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Islanders GM Garth Snow on NHL Live 6-17-09

Yes, that's "Gort" from The Day the Earth Stood Still. But I Googled a photo of Billy Jaffe and it came up with this. After laughing myself sick, I thought about it. It's oddly fitting as this is what good friend Jaffe was really attempting to do to Garth over the phone. It didn't work. The following is what I came away with from today's show.

Billy Jaffe and Deb Placey interview GM Garth Snow.

Garth was early calling in. I guess he may have wanted to get it over with or just had so many other things to do. Deb rushed to commercial break and when they returned immediately started the questions. “Has this been fun or stressful?” They asked of the Islanders GM.

“For us, to be in this position is a silver lining. We can put another building block in our line up.” If anyone thinks that coming in dead-last this season was what Garth Snow really had in mind, please think again. The man does NOT like losing.

This draft year has excellent potential and the Islanders should be able to come away with some very high quality players with the additional second and third round picks they have amassed. Garth admitted the phone has not been very busy looking for deals, but that there may be more “chatter” next week.

Snow has enjoyed the experience of getting to know the draft picks and going through the extensive draft process. “It’s been a neat experience to get to know the number three kids. I know it’s been too boring for you, but we’re going to get a great person and hockey player.”

With all the hype the Islanders have placed on this draft, as well as the unprecedented “who would you pick” contest, Jaffe asked if he felt any pressure considering that 90% of the fan base seems to feel that John Tavares is the only choice that should be made.

“Yes.” Was Garth going to give in to fans? “The pressure I feel is to pick the right player to help bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island.”

“Like shuckin’ open an oyster.” That’s how Jaffe described trying to get anything out of Garth Snow. But he and Deb did manage to get the fact that he is still favoring ONE of the big three. Deb attempted to play 20 questions, “Is he bigger than a bread box bust smaller than a toaster.” And even though this folksy question was posed tongue in cheek, I’m sure had he answered in any way, Islanders nation would have been able to nail the answer. (Bigger than a bread box? Hedman. Smaller than a toaster? Tavares.)

There are currently over 14,000 tickets reserved for the Friday June 26th Draft Party at the coliseum where the doors will open to the fans at 5:30 pm. (You know, the draft party I won’t be at because I love my husband THAT MUCH.) “There’s been an overwhelming response. We have one of the most passionate around. This is going to be a landmark day.” Garth is always sincere and complimentary about the fan base.

“It’s going to be a watershed summer for Long Island.” Billy exclaimed as he thought of not just the upcoming draft, but the LighthouseLI Project deadline approaching.

“Absolutely!” Garth said but he’s more concerned about how he will build this team. “If you piggyback on the draft of last year, we’re coming into this draft with a chance to add to our prospect pool and really turn a corner.”

Billy being Billy tried to weasel an answer out of Garth by asking what POSITION he may be targeting with the SECOND pick “looking for peanut butter to go with the chocolate.” Garth wasn’t biting. “I’m not going to tell you what positions I’m looking at. The decision will be made on the floor and we prepare for what scenario unfolds on draft day.”

“If he’s basing his pick on their golf ability, than I know who it’s going to be.” Jaffe said knowingly having already played golf with Garth and a few of the prospects. (Or should I say, having beaten Garth playing golf. ;o) )

Billy poked a little more trying to gain some insight into the health of Goalie for Life, Rick DiPietro. “Rick is fine. He’ll start skating in August and should be ready for training camp. Touch wood, we’re hoping for far fewer man games lost next season.”

Deb questioned Rick’s state of mind, quickly following with the news that Rick is getting married in a few weeks so he is probably just somewhat stressed.

“Rick is a special person and a unique player.” Then Garth used an analogy I’ve never heard before, “I’d rather rein in a thoroughbred than whip a mule. Rick is a thoroughbred.”

Snow & Company will be leaving for Montreal on Tuesday before the draft but insists that the dynamic this year has not changed, even with that coveted first pick. “The scouts and I work closely to select players.”

And they’ll have some serious decisions to be making on Friday and Saturday.

Garth ended by interrupting Jaffe to offer condolences to the family of Bob Lawrence, the radio voice of the NY Islanders from years gone by, on the news of his passing.


Pat Canella said...

Wow, poor Garth, he has to make the absolute best out of a bad situation. Though not too bad considering he is getting Tavares!

TheMetalChick said...

GORT! The Original movie kicked the remakes butt... Keanu did a pretty good job and all but the whole rewrite making it all about the environment was so LAME. Im even int he science field and I was like UGH. Like aliens would care if we screw up our own planet!?!

Anyway, good writeup on the interview. :D