The New York Islanders’ recently hired assistant coach was brought in for what Doug Weight calls “an immense amount of hockey knowledge.”
On Tuesday, the New York Islanders announced the hiring of Scott Gomez to the assistant coaching staff.
Gomez, 37, spent sixteen seasons terrorizing the Isles with the rival Devils and Rangers, among others. He hoisted two Stanley Cups and won the Calder Memorial Trophy. At the end of the day, he was a mainstay in a league with few mainstays, and that’s likely one of the things that led to his hiring.
“Scott brings an immense amount of hockey knowledge to our coaching staff,” Weight said. “His offensive instincts, expertise on the powerplay and the way he could control the game with his skating and smarts, are all key elements that we want implemented into our group. He played in the league as recently as the 2015-16 season so he can relate to today’s NHL player in an effort to bring out the best in each member of the team.”
Let’s break down some of Weight’s observations:
- The Isles scored on a paltry 14.9 percent of power plays, good for 28th in the league. This is unacceptable, especially for a team with postseason aspirations. Gomez made a living on the man advantage, as 33.7 percent of his career points came with this designation.
- Although certain skaters are near the top of the league in speed (i.e. Nick Leddy, Shane Prince and Casey Cizikas), the Isles never found their footing in this regard. Gomez, who was lauded for his skating, should help the team create an identity in this area.
- The Isles’ assistant coaches last season — Bob Corkum and Greg Cronin — had a combined thirteen years of experience as professional players, with Corkum last playing in the NHL in 2002. Both Luke Richardson and Gomez have recently competed in the pros.
We recapped the Gomez hiring on Tuesday: “Widely renowned for his terrific passing ability and speed, Gomez notched two Stanley Cups and the Calder Memorial Trophy during an NHL career that spanned sixteen seasons,” we wrote. “His hiring represents a shift towards people with Stanley Cup victories on their résumes — as evidenced not only by his hiring but also by the signing last offseason of Andrew Ladd.”
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