As most Islanders' fans knew, Snow gambled the Isles future on Ryan Smyth. Not only at the deadline giving up two former 1st rounders along with a future one, but after the season ended with the 8 Year, $40 Million Contract Smyth was reportedly offered. Putting all his eggs in one basket, Snow battled until Ryan signed the dotted line with Colorado missing out on a few key UFA's that could've replaced Smyth.
Last season, the Islanders changed their reputation from a poorly run zoo to a respected organization dedicated to winning. That all changed on July 1st, as guys like Blake, Kozlov, and Poti were also gone. Snow's inexperience showed, and no fan was happy with the team. Not only were fans not happy, but potential signings weren't happy either and thus walked away from the Isles offers.
As July 3rd and 4th came along, I became more and more sick to my stomach. As one hand was reaching the for Fishsticks Jersey Fedotenko signed, and all of a sudden I saw some light.
Sure, he was overpaid... but who wasn't thus far in Free Agency? At that point it was better than nothing.
More than Fedotenko himself, the signing was a turning point for the Islanders this offseason. It showed that Garth was still working the phones and hadn't called it quits. Next thing I know, Guerin and Comrie are both signed to short term deals.
Sim, "Tank", Guerin, and Comrie tallied a combined 85 goals and 162 points.
Looking at last year's roster who played the majority of the season (which excludes Smyth):
Jason Blake (40 Goals, 69 Points) Viktor Kozlov (25 Goals, 51 Points) Alexei Yashin (18 Goals, 50 Points) are now gone.
To save you the math that's 83 Goals and 180 Points.
Figure in Tambellini coming up full time this season (finally), I think Garth did a great job replacing the lost forwards.
Shifting the attention to defense, Snow still has his work cut out for him. Witt needs a new defensive partner, and Poti's ability to start a break needs to be replaced. Could Gervais fill Poti's void? Does Marc-Andre Bergeron replace Sean Hill? Only time will tell. A top 2 D-Man is still needed, and I think Markov would fill that void great. Sheldon Souray? I'll pass unless he's brought in as a luxury and not to replace.
Now if only Eklund would release more about that trade....