Islanders looking for ‘big name’ to take over operations

The HNIC panel runs through the biggest stories in hockey, touching on the Gerard Gallant firing and shooting down Max Pacioretty trade rumours.

The New York Islanders are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, Islanders owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have been meeting with people in the hockey community since the summer in order to find a “big name” to take over hockey operations.

The team has been in disarray all season. Poor on-ice performances, a player agent calling out the manager, insufficient ice conditions, low attendance — the list goes on and on. Is it by design (management) or execution (coaching) that the Islanders struggle? Is it both?

It’s time for a change, that’s for sure.

“What Jonathan Ledecky is doing is he’s meeting with a ton of people to get ideas on what he should do with his franchise,” said Elliotte Friedman on the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada Saturday.

Friedman reported that among the big names he’s met with are agent Pat Brisson (one of his clients being John Tavares), former player Brad Richards, Wayne Gretzky (though he’s not leaving the Edmonton Oilers’ organization, assuredly), Luc Robitaille, and Pat Flatley.

Kelly Hrudey chimed in, saying he’d received three emails himself from Ledecky.

“He wants input, he wants us at the games and I think this is a wonderful first step in making that organization great again,” said Hrudey, a former Islander.

Staples’ sources say the team is not close to naming a new president, one of the two roles that general manager Garth Snow currently fills. Staple also mentioned Pat LaFontaine as a person they’ve reached out to. LaFontaine briefly served as an advisor to the club for 40 days in 2006.

“I don’t have to tell you things are bad, everybody knows things are bad,” says Peter Finch’s character in the 1976 film Network.

One can wonder if that was summer viewing for Ledecky and Malkin.

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