Bye-Bye Jack Capuano. Today the new York Islanders did exactly what their fans have been literally chanting from the rafters and fired their head coach. So now what?
Six years ago the New York Islanders hired Jack Capuano to replace Scott Gordon. The straight shooting AHL coach had no previous NHL experience as he took over. It was a bold move for the Isles (and a cheap one financially) that never really worked.
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In his six years behind the bench for the Islanders Capuano held a 227-192-64 record with two back-to-back 100 point seasons in his final two years. Before going down with a sinking ship this season as the Islanders find themselves near the bottom (28th) of the standings in the league.
Why now? According to Garth Snow’s afternoon conference call it’s because the Isles were a .500 club. Even though they’ve been a .500 for a long time now (if not below that marker), I think that Garth told himself that if the team wasn’t above .500 by the halfway point of the season that something needed to be done. However ridiculous that sounds based on performances up to that point.
I get that the Islanders were on the road the few nights before, and unless you’re the Florida Panthers, you don’t generally fire the coach on the road. So it makes sense as to “why now?” How about “what now?”
Out goes Jack Capuano and in comes his number two, or at least the organization’s number two, in Dough Weight. Who is the Assistant General Manager and was the Assistant Head Coach, who was responsible for the special teams. A special team that has an efficiency of 13.6% (26th in the league) and a penalty kill that’s 80% (21st in the league). Not exactly the type of glowing resume.
Snow: “I don’t imagine system-wise we’ll change too much. … Sometimes just a new voice in the room can be a difference.”
A new voice might get this team into gear, but that’s if you believe Doug Weight is a new voice. I understand that literally, the head coach instructions are coming from a new person in Dough Weight. But this guys been in the room the entire time and in a similar role. And if the system, as Garth says, is going to remain the same. Where’s the “new” voice?