FACEOFF: SNOW & KYPREOS
At 12:45 today, Islanders general manager Garth Snow was a guest on HOCKEYCENTRAL, one of the biggest sports talk radio shows in Canada and simulcast on television on Sportsnet. He was interviewed about the acquisition of Ryan Smyth by former NHL player Nick Kypreos. Here are a few excerpts from Snow's conversation:
On Ted Nolan's reaction when Snow gave him the news of the Smyth trade:
"Ted's usual handshake for me turned into a hug yesterday."
When told by Kypreos that Islanders owner Charles Wang is "the real deal":
"We're lucky, not only as a staff, but as a team and a community on Long Island to have an owner who puts us in a position to win championships. If there were any questions about that around the league, I'm sure they are answered now."
On the status of a contract for Ryan Smyth:
"Ryan is not the only player up for a contract. There are hundreds of them around the league. We have plenty of them, including Jason Blake and Viktor Kozlov. Of course Ryan is a very important player for us, but my point is that, right now, our entire culture is all about the team. I'm certain Ryan feels the same way. That's one of the reasons why we got him. The business aspect will be addressed at the proper time. For now, our concern is about winning the next game."
On jumping in head-first as a rookie GM with a major impact deal on deadline day:
"Everything has been made easier on me by being surrounded by some of the best people in the business. Ted has been great. Ken Morrow is at my side whenever I need him, and he was right there with me yesterday. Bryan Trottier has been an incredible asset to our organization, dealing with our young players. Joanne Holewa has been here 27 years, going back to Bill Torrey. (GM assistant) Kerry Gwydir has been here for ten years. I'm very fortunate to have such a great staff."
On the impact of the Smyth trade on the organization:
"I heard the phones have been ringing off the hook back at our offices. I got a lot of high-fives from our sales staff when they arrived at the arena for the game yesterday. It's been tremendous, as big as you'd expect for someone of Ryan's caliber." (Kypreos later reported that more than 500 Islanders ticket plans had been sold since 5:00 pm yesterday).
Finally, when Kypreos said, "Garth, in a business where we usually find out everything well before it's announced, you stunned us yesterday," Snow laughed and said, "I'm glad we surprised you."