Greg Cronin is the latest New York Islanders casualty as Lou Lamoriello continues his impressive and rapid coaching overhaul.
Confirming SNY report, Greg Cronin was let go by #Isles. No other coaching decisions have been made as of now, at NHL or AHL level.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) June 14, 2018
The first of what’s expected to be a flurry of coaching moves took place, as Lamoriello has evidently gotten around to his assistant coaches evaluation. Rumors surfaced a few days ago that Lamoriello wanted a new coach in place before the draft, and it seems things are shaping up for a hire.
Obviously, the hiring of a head coach, or any hockey executive for that matter, typically follows with numerous front-office rearrangements, and it’s safe to bet Lamoriello is already beginning that process.
The interesting factor in the hiring/releasing of management is that it has been a slow procedure done bit-by-bit. Clearly, Lamoriello is honing in on every position and this will very much be a total purge of whoever isn’t on board with his vision.
Chris Botta of SNY provided an inside look:
“As everyone expected, it’s a blood-letting,” said a source close to the team. “The only small surprise is that it’s already happening…before the new head coach comes in.”
Botta also pointed out that one other coach was informed he was dismissed, and the same type of changes are coming to the Isles’ AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, as well.
Of the remaining assistants, it seems the most likely that Scott Gomez would be kept around for his obvious ties to Lamoriello and the Islanders eighth-overall powerplay finish in the NHL.
Cronin was hired to work with Jack Capuano before the start of the 2014-15 season and was tasked with the defense & PK. In the 2015-16 season, the PK finished fourth-overall in the NHL at an 84.5 percent success rate, Cronin’s most effective season with New York.
Cronin was asked to return by Doug Weight when he hired his slew of assistant coaches in the 2017 offseason and was promoted to associate coach.
The releasing of another assistant can only hint that the Islanders are very close to finding their next head honcho.
Lamoriello’s ties to Toronto have been well-documented since his hire (there’s still a very good chance Mark Hunter could be hired as GM once he’s eligible) and Sheldon Keefe exists as a strong possibility after the Toronto Marlies’ Calder Cup win.
DJ Smith has also emerged as a strong candidate as well, winning the NHLPA’s majority vote when asked which assistant is best-suited for an NHL coaching position.
By the looks of things, it would be safe to say the Islanders should have a new boss over the weekend … and not a moment too soon.