Friday, September 24, 2010

Isles GM Vs Bloggers: Chapter 2

***Don't forget! I know it's an early event, but the 11 am scrimmage will get you set for Hockey on Long Island! So come grab a cup of coffee and glimpse of the future.

Veteran Blog Boxer Ken Dick (Okposo Net) was hesitant at first, admitting that he didn’t want to “ruffle feathers.” Ken wanted to know more about trade deadline day, the difference between being a buyer and a seller and then draft day and how he manages to keep his top choice such a secret in this day and age of perpetual information.

Hockey Independent’s Tony Stabile sat with his notes and his blackberry rolling waiting for his turn to chime in.. He scanned his notes, cleared his through and started with “Okay -- I’ve got one for you. Is there a prospect that is off the radar that you are particularly excited about?” This was Tony’s first dealing with the Islanders GM. “Well, if I’m excited about him, he’s definitely not off MY radar.” Tony clarified his question. “Okay, the FAN’S radar.”

Snow explained that they are in a situation where they have many young players and some may not be considered “prospects” from the outside in the truest sense of the word, so he has to separate the young players into categories in his thinking. There are those who are ready or already on the team, those that need to be in Bridgeport, those who will go back to their junior clubs or the two ECHL affiliates of the Islanders and those who are heading back to college.

He mentioned names, but was careful not wanting to leave anyone out that deserved to be recognized. Still having a player’s mind, he remembered what it was like to read reports and wonder why his own name wasn’t included.

The prospect pool is constantly evolving through scouting, drafting and even trades such as Dylan Reese who ended up wearing three jerseys in one week and performed very well. There are also prospects that are not at camp that are held in high regard by the organization, but they are all being watched carefully and Snow is aware of each prospects development and will visit or watch tapes of as many as he can . “I’m always hands-on in regards to the meetings with the scouting staff.”

Spring becomes a very busy time in hockey leading up to the draft. “Every team wants to get every pick right, but it’s probably unrealistic to achieve that. But it is every team’s goal and it’s our goal. It’s a fun process. I’ve always said the three most exciting times of the year as a General Manager are the Draft, July 1 and trade deadline. But I’ve had a lot of fun at that draft table in each of the drafts I’ve been involved in. Except for the first one. We didn’t have a first or second round pick.”

While there is a youth movement and a plan to “build through the draft,” Tony asked about targeting RFAs, as he put it “If the right situation would come about.” From across the table, my immediate thought was Zach Parise!

“We would look at any thing that is allowed under the CBA. It has to make sense for us with the player and the financial commitment. We have a young group of players that will need to get contract extensions. So you have to keep that in mind when you make decisions or commitments like that whether it’s restricted or unrestricted free agents. You can’t paint yourself into a corner.” (Lou Lamoriello!)

Yes, yes. I know. I'm a fool to think we could try to pry Zach Parise away from the Devils, but it's just a dream I keep having.

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