Lou Lamoriello’s reconstruction of the New York Islanders is underway.
As introduced yesterday, lengthy-time common supervisor Garth Snow is out, as is head coach Doug Weight. It may be argued these have been the straightforward selections, contemplating Snow’s monitor report of 4 submit-season berths and one collection win in 12 years on the job and Weight’s failure to lead the Islanders into the playoffs the previous two seasons. Lamoriello assuming Snow’s duties as GM — at the least for now — appeared to be a no brainer, too.
Now, the robust half. Hiring the subsequent coach, one who can coax the best out of a comparatively younger, gifted group, whereas cleansing up the myriad defensive points that resulted within the Isles surrendering extra objectives than some other staff within the NHL this previous season.
“So far as what sort of a coach (the Islanders want)? The best approach I might put it’s get the best individual obtainable,” Lamoriello requested and answered on a convention name with reporters on Tuesday.
“The best coach for the gamers that we have now. Not each coach is for each workforce, and never each workforce is for each coach.”
Whereas that basically doesn’t slender issues down a lot, this is our record of Prime 5 coaching candidates for the Islanders, listed alphabetically.
MORE: Lou Lamoriello seeks “tradition change” as Islanders transfer on from GM Garth Snow and coach Doug Weight
Present job: Head Coach, Toronto Marlies (AHL)
NHL document: zero-zero-zero
Keefe is the highest minor league coaching candidate on the market, and he presently has the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate two wins away from profitable the Calder Cup. Lamoriello has a working relationship with Keefe the previous three years within the Leafs group. Throughout that point, Keefe not solely coached the Marlies to seasons of 114, 89 and 112 factors and — up to now — 6 playoff collection wins, however he helped develop a number of of the group’s prime prospects, as nicely, which is perhaps most interesting and related to Lamoriello and the Islanders. It does not all the time work out for the AHL coach-du-jour when he will get that NHL alternative — keep in mind Dallas Eakins anybody? — however it positive looks like Keefe is prepared for his shot within the Nationwide Hockey League. And with Mike Babcock blocking his path with the Maple Leafs, the Islanders might afford him that chance.
Present job: Head Coach, Cleveland Monsters (AHL)
Age: forty five
NHL report: zero-zero-zero
Like Keefe, John Madden is a present minor league bench boss with no head coaching expertise within the NHL, however with ties to Lamoriello. Madden has a profitable pedigree, having been part of three Stanley Cup champions — together with a pair with Lamoriello in New Jersey with the Devils — throughout his thirteen-yr enjoying profession. His no-nonsense, arduous-nosed, gritty type and demeanor made him a favourite with Lamoriello in New Jersey, and provides to his strong background. Madden additionally labored beforehand within the NHL as an assistant with the Florida Panthers, one thing Keefe doesn’t have on his resume.
Present job: Assistant Coach, Toronto Maple Leafs
Age: forty one
NHL report: zero-zero-zero
First off, the narrative that D.J. Smith makes for an excellent story as a former Islander returning residence to revive his previous membership is relatively overblown and downright off base. Sure, Smith was a 1995 draft decide of the Isles, however he by no means performed a single second for the group. Nevertheless, he does deliver a powerful coaching resume to this dialog. Smith guided Oshawa to the Memorial Cup title in 2015, one yr after being named OHL Coach of the Yr. For the previous three years he is been an assistant beneath Mike Babcock with the Maple Leafs, the place he labored for Lamoriello and is properly-favored and revered by the gamers.
Present job: Unemployed
Age: fifty six
NHL report: 553-413-28-one hundred twenty
There are various veteran NHL coaches in search of jobs proper now, together with Alain Vigneault, Darryl Sutter and Lindy Ruff. Heck, even former Islanders bench boss Rick Bowness was simply let go as affiliate coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. However what makes Tippett a match with the Islanders is that the 2010 Jack Adams Trophy winner is a protection-first coach, and the Isles clearly want main assist in that a part of the sport. The previous Stars and Coyotes head coach is properly-revered all through the league, although doesn’t have a previous working relationship with Lamoriello.
Present job: Head Coach, Washington Capitals
Age: fifty five
NHL document: 762-568-60-134
You’ll have heard Barry Trotz is one victory away from coaching the Washington Capitals to the primary Stanley Cup in franchise historical past. You could have additionally heard that Trotz doesn’t have a contract for subsequent yr. And the (loud) whispers are that win or lose, Trotz just isn’t returning to Washington subsequent season. So, yeah, appears a no brainer that Lamoriello and the Islanders would have curiosity on this lengthy-time profitable NHL head coach.