Islander fans are rightfully upset right now. Yesterday during the deadline frenzy, they witnessed a five day long hostage situation come to a disappointing end. No ones life was ever in danger, but their captain Bill Guerin and their faith in the team were both hung out to dry. After being held out of the lineup since Saturday due to potential trades, Guerin was finally shipped off to Pittsburgh for what could amount to as little as a fifth round pick. That's nothing to be happy about, for sure.
In an interview later in the day with TSN, Guerin confirmed that there had been another deal in place that fell through. The dealing of Guerin to Pittsburgh was a Plan B of sorts, something cobbled together after it became clear the Islanders had to deal their captain and were running out of suitors and time. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, GM Garth Snow did not show any disdain for the team that had presumably gotten him into this sticky situation with Islander fans. But he should have.
One thing became clear on Wednesday. After sitting out two games and capturing the attention of the national hockey media, Guerin and the Islanders had to part ways. Guerin, Snow and the rest of the organization are professionals. If Guerin was not dealt, I'm sure they would have handled it well. However, it would have been a media circus -- more than it already was -- and both Guerin and Snow would have to answer the same questions over and over for the rest of the season.
Snow took the high road when speaking with reporters last night. He did not discuss any trades that fell through, was happy with what the team got for Guerin and wished him well. You can't fault anyone for saying those things and taking the high road. But, maybe just for a moment, it may have gone a long way with a disgruntled fanbase to vent some frustration.
If Snow had said that they had agreed to a deal earlier in the week, only to have the other party stall and ultimately back out and that he was pissed about it, who on Long Island would be upset with him? The average fan isn't going to be happy to hear that they just traded their captain for a long shot draft pick. Sure, Guerin's an impending UFA and they needed to get something for him but it's the sheer notion of trading your captain for table scraps. That's going to stick in the minds of more than a few fans.
Snow and coach Scott Gordon are two very tight-lipped professionals. The proof of that is how for four days they never let the cat out of the bag in regards to who they were negotiating with over Guerin. It seems as though they handled the situation as best they could, but now their fanbase is angry for something that may have been out of their control. Is it too much to ask for Snow and Gordon to express some frustration, too?