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Garth Snow channeled his inner Ditka at the NHL Draft

Jun 25, 2012, 12:38 PM EDT

Garth Snow Getty Images

Just when you think you’ve heard it all from the Columbus Blue Jackets, something else comes along.

Namely, the New York Islanders.

Today was no different, as Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch shares the story of how Islanders GM Garth Snow offered Jackets GM Scott Howson the Islander’s entire draft… to move up from No. 4 to No. 2:

That’s right, for the Jackets’ No. 2 pick, the Islanders offered pick Nos. 4, 34, 65, 103, 125, 155 and 185. The bounty would have given the Jackets the following picks: 4, 31, 34, 62, 65, 95, 103, 125, 152, 155, 182 and 185. And if that weren’t enough, the Jackets could have had the Kings’ No. 30 if they wanted it.

There hasn’t been a more insane draft strategy since Mike Ditka sent all of the New Orleans Saints draft picks to Washington to get Ricky Williams. (Also, first- and third-round picks the year following.)

If true — and some have their doubts — it leads to the big question: Who’s the crazier GM here? Snow, for making a Ditka-like move to get Murray? Or Howson, for turning down a boatload of picks? Columbus could certainly use a lot of help, but perhaps this is a case where quality wins over quantity.

  1. scionofflame - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    I don’t know who’s the bigger idiot. Howson for turning this down? Or Snow for making the offer? I mean, good lord. I don’t even know what to say about this deal right now.

    • govtminion - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      Islanders and Jackets.

      What more needs to be said?

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      To be fair, maybe it was an incredible move by Howson. Perhaps he’s self aware enough to realize that he would screw up all of those extra picks and lose out on Murray.

      • govtminion - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        That IS a fair point. If you suck at drafting, why get more picks?

        “…the Columbus Blue Jackets are proud to select Andrew Luck with the- wait, really? Football? But I’ve been scouting him for months, and… ok, fine, we’ll take that guy over there.”

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:55 PM

        This may be salt in the wound, but this is as good a post as any to bring this back around.

      • davebabychreturns - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        Great point, let’s not forget that Howson turned around and fired four scouts after the draft – I mean it’s likely they were out of the loop in the organization at that point and just being held onto in order to protect information but still.. they obviously do not think they’ve got their house in order.

        Ryan Murray is a great player for either organization – both desperately need a few more “future captain” types of players.

      • bcisleman - Jun 25, 2012 at 11:01 PM

        Isles HAVE captain types: Okposo, JT, Frans, Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas to name a few. Captains, at least the great ones, aren’t anointed. They usually evolve into the role. Denis wasn’t named captain until he’d completed 6 seasons w/ the Islanders.

        In terms of talent, I do not believe Murray has anything like Reinhart’s upside and giving up a ton of picks because of someone’s “leadership” capacity is absurd. You bring in guys with character as well as talent and the leadership will take care of itself.

        If this rumor IS true, it will go down in Islander history as one of the best trades NEVER made. That’s the old cliche made true.

  2. sportsfreak13 - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    In the words of Seth Rorabaugh “Teams like the Islanders and Blue Jackets shouldnt be allowed to discuss a trade unless there is a adult present”.

    • bcisleman - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      Maybe there should have been adults present when Shero gave Michalek and Martin those ridiculous deals. Seth’s just ticked because the Isles knocked his boys out of the race for the division. probably annoyed that the Isles got the steal they did w/ Visnovsky.

      • sportsfreak13 - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        ill take both martins and michaleks deals over again 5 times before I touch diepetros. Did we get knocked out the division lead yes, however we still made the playoffs which is more then your islanders team have done lately.

      • bcisleman - Jun 25, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        DiPietro wasn’t Snow’s move. It was Wang’s. Isles time is coming…probably this year. Garth hasn’t made many trades, but the ones he has made have been good ones. Seth’s remark was rather foolish, although I know all the ignorant Islander haters loved it.

  3. bcisleman - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Don’t believe that story at all. Garth might have offered to trade up–though quite honestly I think Reinhart will be better than Murray eventually–but I do not believe he offered all his picks. The more I hear about Portzline, the more I suspect whatever he says.

    • davebabychreturns - Jun 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      Apparently the deal was contingent upon the Oilers passing on Nail Yakupov.

      • emperorzero - Jun 25, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Which then suddenly makes the islanders offer (more) logical. I don’t see why you would offer your entire draft unless you were clearly getting a franchise type player.

      • bcisleman - Jun 25, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        Still don’t believe the story and still believe that Reinhart will be better. Add in Pokka and Pelech and its off the charts not a comparison. Don’t buy it.

  4. east96st - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    To our “beloved” owner of the CBJ Mr. McConnell,

    Reason number 327 why I am no longer a season ticket holder. Seriously, how bad does this guy have to bend you over and f*** you, me, and everyone in Columbus before he gets fired? Also, since you are so willing to take it up the *** and your team stole so much of my money, how do I get a piece of the action?


    Former occupant of two seats in Section 114

  5. buddysguys - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    this seems about right…two organizations that are completely lost when it comes to building a team make offers and decline offers like this…

    • bcisleman - Jun 25, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      Not lost at all. Isles have been rebuilt and have one of the very best and deepest prospect pools in the NHL.

  6. bcisleman - Jun 25, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Don’t believe this story BUT if it is true…Gordie Clark…former Islander & current Ranger hockey ops guy who knows prospects said bottom half of draft was pretty poor. If we assume everything after the first three rounds was crap then we are talking about, in essence, Reinhart, Pokka and Pelech plus four projects that might never see the inside of an NHL locker room for Murray. I think Murray is vastly overrated and that Reinhart will be a better D down the road and that Pokka and Pelech will be good top 6 or even top 4 quality Ds BUT if GS thought Murray was THE GUY, the move might be defensible. Still doubt the story though.

  7. dannythebisforbeast - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Islander haters?? Dude u gotta field a real team before people start hating on it. This article reminded me they were even still an NHL team

    • bcisleman - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:47 PM

      Isles have a real team and people have been hating on them for years. The haters love stories like this when they seem to confirm their bias.

  8. alexb64 - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    No mention of Howson asking him to include Tavares, Okposo & “somehow Matt Duchene” too so I’m thinking this isn’t true.

  9. kev86 - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Call the Isles what you will but our dynasty lives forever. And dont dare make fun of the 80’s. Who are the Blue Jackets???

  10. JasonW in Miami - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Can I get a bag of chips and dip with that too?

  11. ray2013 - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Listening to the radio today, they talked about this proposed trade and noted the following:

    1) the bust rate of first rounders is supposed to be around 50% (never play 100 games as the benchmark)

    2) the bust rate for second rounders is around 80% (never play 100 games)

    3) the bust rate for third rounders is around 88% (never play 100 games).

    Even with a modest 100-game plateau as the benchmark for a successful draft pick, most picks crap out. If you’re picking in the first round, then you’ve got a much better shot of not only picking a long-term pro, but a potential all-star the closer you pick to first. Sure some early picks flame out, and some later picks prove successful, despite the odds.

    So from the Islander perspective, it’s worth it to trade all the picks, particularly those lower ones with little likelihood of producing players who’ll play 100 games if you can guarantee a top-2 d-man who’ll hopefully be a franchise player. From the Columbus perspective, they went with the quality player they hope will be a franchise rather than going after quantity.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:20 PM

      Pretty good analysis. I’d trade all the posts I’ve seen on PHT for that one.

    • east96st - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      ray – What you’re overlooking in your analysis is that poor drafting team like the Jackets could have, and really should have, taken the picks and turned around and used them to trade for established players. Teams that draft well are always interested in picks. With all those picks, and Nash, could the Jackets have gotten Staal and Luongo? Probably not, but it’s a gamble a team that has hit rock bottom needs to take. Because if they did manage to trade for those two, all of sudden, Columbus becomes much more attractive to free agents. When what you’ve done for 11 years has continuously failed, it’s time to try to do something new. IF the deal was a real one, and let’s be honest, we will probably never be 100% sure of that, Columbus had an opportunity to turn the franchise completely around. That they choose NOT to take that chance, surprises no one who has the misfortune of following the team.

      • ray2013 - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        Hello east – You make some interesting arguments.

        They could have had an absolute bevy of picks to make trades with, and still had the fourth overall pick. I have no doubt that Ken Holland or someone of that stature could have made magic happen with that many picks and the fourth overall. But Columbus’ GM isn’t Ken Holland, and as such, I think it was probably the right move for this team with the current GM.

      • ray2013 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        My concern re: trades for Columbus is two-fold. Columbus would obviously want impact players in exchange for either Nash or the #2. These impact players fall into two categories usually:

        1) young, untouchable prospects or players (ex. Jordan Eberle. He’s already broken the 30-goal plateau playing for the Oilers, and would be an asset teams would want)

        2) older, established veterans who hold a NTC

        I don’t see a lot of the first group being moved. It just doesn’t happen. I can’t see a scenario where the Oilers trade Jordan Eberle. He is still getting better, and no team is going to part with an asset like that, especially while they’re on a rookie contract.

        The older, established veterans do get traded, but because they hold a NTC, they basically have the right to select where they want to go. You used Luongo as an example; let’s say Columbus makes the best offer Vancouver received for Luongo’s services. It’s in Vancouver’s interest to get the best offer possible for Luongo, and in Columbus’ interest to get a proven starter locked up for the next five to ten years. But Luongo has already stated the only club he’ll accept a trade to is Florida. So even though Columbus offers a better deal to Vancouver, they can only deal with Florida.

        It’s the same problem as trading Nash; some team that is not on the list may offer a better deal for Columbus, but Howson is stuck having to reject it, because Nash won’t accept a trade there. These NTCs weaken the ability to get full value on trading a player or a pick. The only way you’re getting quality players is through the draft, and hopefully there are no more Filatovs that set back the organization. (and yes, I know, teams shouldn’t give NTCs if they want to avoid this problem)

  12. pensfan603 - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    the saddest aprt is how the islanders then used all 7 of there picks to get defense man..

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