June 8, 2008

Just One Big Happy Family

As many of you heard, last week there were some waves in Islander Land when Garth Snow announced the team would not be bringing back Dubie due to the fact that the coaching staff lost some confidence in him when he showed up to training camp in poor shape. Last week, Nolan responded by saying that Snow's comments came as a surprise to him as he thanked Dubie for all he did in his time here.

Isles fans grew uneasy reading the contrasting opinions as they feared that the coach and the GM might not be on the same page. This dates back to a disagreement that happened back in March. With the team in a playoff race, and back to back games against the rival Rangers, Rick DiPietro was returning from the funeral of his grandmother. After Dubie started the first game, everyone felt that Rick would get the nod for the second game. That wasn't the case as Nolan went with Dubie, who had the hot hand at the time. When asked if he raised an eyebrow at the decision on the Mike and the Mad Dog Show, Snow responded "one eyebrow, or two?" Needless to say, people had been worrying for some time now.

The two insist that everything is fine, and talked about being a family that has disagreements from time to time. They said at a recent business club meeting at the Coliseum that they would rather have miscommunications like this stay inside the "household." Disagreements could turn out to be the death for coaches, but this seems like it was far from that. I think there wasn't much communication on this topic from the start of the season. Nolan said Dubie was out of shape due to an injury, and it's possible that is something Snow might not have heard. We also know Rick would play all 82 games if possible, so it would not surprise me to hear that Rick and only Rick was the reason he played 33 of the first 35.

I really thing this whole thing was insignificant. Sure, it made me think a little bit, and i started to go through the whole thing of Nolan not having a contract and things like that in my head. But these are things we can't control. Just because Nolan isn't signed beyond this year doesn't mean he's not coming back. Just because most teams follow the idea of not letting a coach go into a final year of a contract doesn't mean the team won't let it happen. To be quite honest with you, I never understood the concept myself. Brian Burke, the GM of Anaheim isn't signed beyond this upcoming season, and rumors swirled that he would take the leafs job. His response was that his planned on fulfilling his contractual obligations in Anaheim, and then thinking what to do next. But he has repeatedly made it clear that he loves Anaheim and how he has brought that team along. So, I really feel that Nolan going into a final year of a contract means nothing. It's a bridge that the team will cross when they get there.

Right now, the team should be thinking more about who to draft, trade and sign during the summer. There is no doubt that there are many issues that need to be looked at during the offseason. The team also needs to decide if they are going for a complete rebuild, or just have a decent amount of youth sprinkled in the lineup. There are so many scenarios to go through, that it would take too much time for me to dissect them now.

The lack of rumors since the end of the finals is killing me. Sure, there aren't any free agents to sign yet but trades cam happen and with the draft quickly approaching one would think we would hear more. We'll have to see how things go over the next few days. I hope so; it'll give me more exciting things to write about!

No comments: