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Isles GM Garth Snow addresses Gillies suspension, still doesn’t get it

Mar 5, 2011, 3:08 PM EDT

New York Islanders Media Day Getty Images

Trevor Gillies probably never figured he’d be the focus of attention at all in his career. His latest incident that saw him deliver a dirty hit on Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck in his first game back after serving a nine game suspension moved him to the forefront of discussion across the league.

With yesterday’s 10 game suspension being dished out to Islanders forward Trevor Gillies, and with most everyone weighing in on whether or not they felt the NHL got this one right, Islanders GM Garth Snow had his say today.

This afternoon, Snow spoke with the media about his thoughts on the stiff punishment. If you’re expecting Snow to issue a “mea culpa” or to throw Gillies under the bus for his reckless play, you’ll be waiting a long time. NHL.com’s John Kreiser has the story from Long Island about how Snow sees things in a different light.

“From the play, the way I saw it develop, it was a hit from behind on DiBenedetto by the Minnesota player,” Snow said prior to Saturday’s game against St. Louis, the first of 10 Gillies will miss due to the suspension. “Trevor comes over and tries to finish his check. First point of contact was shoulder-to-shoulder. It was not a hit from behind by any means.

“I think his left glove accidentally followed through and made contact to the head. But, by no means do I think he had the intention to hurt the Minnesota player. I think he was going in with good intentions to finish his check, and it’s unfortunate he did receive a 10-game suspension.

“I know Trevor as a person and I know there was no malicious intent when he was finishing the check.”

You can argue about his intent all day when it comes to this situation, the problem here, of course is that it’s both the recklessness of the play as well as Gillies’ standing in the eyes of the league. Last we saw of Gillies before his hit on Clutterbuck was the vision of him standing at the door to mock Pittsburgh’s Eric Tangradi after he landed a disgusting head shot on him. The lack of awareness by Gillies and by Snow in explaining all of this is foolish.

Snow stressing that Gillies does a lot of charity work, is beloved in the locker room, and how he’s a credit to the community with what he does off the ice is a great way for him to try and humanize the man. It’s not the man we’re concerned with here though, it’s the player and the player has shown now in his last two games that he’s reckless and dangerous.  They’re not suspending Trevor Gillies from doing charity events, they’re suspending him from hockey and that’s the right move.

Chris Botta put things into perspective beautifully yesterday on Puck Daddy showing that the on-ice and off-ice person is almost always different and did so through the eyes of former Isles pariah Chris Simon. Until Gillies (and Snow) start to understand that, things will not change in their philosophy on Long Island. As we said here yesterday, Snow and the rest of the Islanders leadership have until March 26 to figure out whether or not Gillies understands his role and if Snow and company value their role as leaders of the team.

  1. TestSubjekt - Mar 5, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    If I didn’t know better I’d think Snow was blantantly trolling us.

  2. jpelle82 - Mar 5, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    snow is a moron…he tried to justify the behavior after the tangradi incident too. islanders are the doormat of the league and when your GM is defending POS’s like Gillies, it makes you wonder how or if he will ever right the ship….

  3. ihateannouncers - Mar 5, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    From the play, the way I saw it develop….

    Means I didn’t really see the play, nor am I going to watch the replay so I can keep from having to make an educated response. Shoulder to shoulder????? Snow is an idiot!! It’s no surprise his team is failing miserably.

  4. Don - Mar 5, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    So Snow should throw his guy under the bus instead? The Isles have enough trouble attracting free agents; adding a GM who doesn’t stick up for his players to the equation would just exacerbate the problem.

  5. ihateannouncers - Mar 6, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    No, he should absolutely support his players, but he should also look at the replay a little closer before he addresses the media. Snows’ comments about the hit not being from behind, or the first point of contact being shoulder to shoulder makes him look stupid, or that he thinks the rest of us are. The replay seems clear that gilles hit was to the head. After a day to look back at the play, he should have had a better response than that.

    • shaynerivers - Mar 6, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      Take a look at the replay again…shoulder to shoulder…head hits the boards after contact.

      • ihateannouncers - Mar 6, 2011 at 4:02 PM

        I, as well as most other non islander fans have looked at the replay a few times….gilles makes contact to Cluttebucks head. The league agrees.

      • derpdederpdederp - Mar 11, 2011 at 12:12 AM

        take a look again then, shoulder to shoulder, i even posted the video below. i know you might not agree with don cherry but ron mclean is a class guy and even he agrees

  6. meeshka71 - Mar 6, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Garth Snow-Sucked as a goalie and sucks as a GM.

  7. shaynerivers - Mar 6, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Are you people stupid, blind, or both? Can you not seriously look at a replay and see that it was a shoulder to shoulder hit and Clutterback then hits his head off the boards? At most this is a boarding call. The hit from behind was to the Islander player. Wake up you donkey’s, and learn the game of hockey.

    • ihateannouncers - Mar 6, 2011 at 4:16 PM

      No we are objective. Maybe you should try it sometime. You may think those of us on this site are stupid and blind, but how about every single hockey analyst, including Snows and Capuanos friend and former islanders coach Mike Milbury?? Are you that arrogant to assume that you know more about hockey than they do?? Even the NY Times called it a hit to the side of the head. We’re not the ones who need to wake up and learn the game of hockey …

      • derpdederpdederp - Mar 10, 2011 at 9:22 PM

        mike milbury is one of the biggest idiots out there, his opinion isnt worth the air it takes for him to speak about issues like this. don cherry said the same thing last week, it was a shoulder to shoulder hit that resulted in clutterbucks head hitting the boards. their reasons there was a suspension are (1) almost any questionable hit that leads to a head injury is a punishable offence nowadays and (2) gillies is a good and a repeat offender that will get a suspension slapped on him anytime he does anything controversial

      • derpdederpdederp - Mar 10, 2011 at 9:23 PM

        should read “gillies is a GOON and a repeat offender”

      • shaynerivers - Mar 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        The video below is perfect. It shows what the hit really is. Ron McLean is a former ref for God’s sake. Milbury is an idiot and EVERYONE knows more about hockey then that jackass. If that is your basis for an argument you really do need to learn the game.

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