Following a rare win, the New York Islanders parted ways with head coach Jack Capuano.
Hit the road, Jack.
The New York Islanders are changing direction, beginning Tuesday with the firing of head coach Jack Capuano.
Capuano, 50, said that he’s thankful for the opportunity ‘to have served this historic franchise and its passionate fans.’ He also took the time to ‘recognize our coaching staff, training staff and players for their hard work.’
“It’s [been] an honor,” Capuano told the team website.
That feeling isn’t reciprocal.
Fans have been clamoring for Capuano’s departure since he took the reigns nearly seven seasons ago. It’s been commonplace for bloggers to write about his status as team skipper, as can be found here, here and here.
The man dubbed ‘Cappy’ had been ridiculed for a plethora of things. He’s been chastised for frequently changing lines, being too soft and making the same excuses every press conference.
“There is no questioning the fact Capuano is a terrific motivator,” Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post wrote. “His guys will run through a wall for him, and that’s more than a lot of teams can say.”
“But that’s the stuff of the AHL. This is the big leagues, where good intentions die quiet deaths under a pile of losses.”
The Isles finished last in their division during Capuano’s first two seasons at the helm of the team. This was to be expected, though, as the organization was going through a transitional period.
But Capuano thrice snuck his team into the postseason after that, even advancing to the second-round for the first time in twenty-three annums. That being said, he left a lot to be desired.
For many seasons, Capuano was handed one of the league’s more talented rosters. The Isles’ decade-long rebuild produced tons of lottery picks that could’ve developed into stars. Instead, guys like Ryan Strome, Calvin de Haan and Joshua Bailey never panned out, and these selections amounted to very little.
On the contrary, there were positives about the head coach. He was beloved by his players, and gave fans plenty of amazing memories, including this tidbit:
Capuano departs as the second winningest coach in team history. He led the Islanders to a 227-192-64 record in 483 regular-season games. “Sometimes a new voice in the room can be a difference or an edge or a spark for a team,” general manager Garth Snow said.
Doug Weight, who previously held the tags of assistant coach and special assistant to the GM, will be promoted to head coach. There’s a shroud of uncertainty revolving his coaching abilities, as he’s partially responsible for the Isles’ fledgling power play unit.
Immediate change shouldn’t be expected; it rarely occurs. But looking at the bigger picture, the Isles seem to be moving in the right direction. It’s been rumored that the higher-ups are searching for a president of hockey operations, who would be able to decide on the team’s next coach.
In the meantime, former University of Maine associate coach Bob Corkum ‘will come down from upstairs and be on the bench with Weight and [Greg] Cronin,’ Andy Graziano of SNY tweeted.