The New York Islanders’ makeover continues as the team names John Gruden assistant coach.
For better or worse, it’s been a pretty busy offseason for the New York Islanders.
The team will not only look very different on the ice but they will look different behind the bench.
Signing a five-year deal with the Islanders reportedly worth $20 million, Barry Trotz is the team’s newest bench boss.
Fresh off a Stanley Cup championship with the Washington Capitals, Trotz has brought Lane Lambert to Long Island with him as an associate coach.
The newest addition behind the Isles’ bench is John Gruden as an assistant coach.
No, not that Jon Gruden.
The 48-year-old spent the last two seasons as the head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Last season, Gruden and the Bulldogs won the J. Ross Robertson Cup, awarded to the OHL champions.
Gruden played 92 games in the NHL over parts of six seasons and with three different teams: the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, and Washington Capitals.
As of now, the only members of last year’s coaching staff returning are goaltending coach Fred Brathwaite and power play coach Scott Gomez.
According to Andrew Gross of Newsday, goaltending guru Mitch Korn is considering joining the Islanders to reunite with Trotz who he was worked with in both Nashville and Washington.
But for now, Brathwaite remains with the team.
Gomez, listed as an assistant coach on the Islanders’ official site, was the team’s eye-in-the-sky last season and was a largely responsible for one the best power plays the team has ever had.
In fact, finishing at 23.2 percent, the power play was ranked sixth in the League and it was the first time the Islanders had a power play that finished the season at over 20 percent since the 1993-94 season.
After being brought to the organization by Doug Weight just over a year ago, the Islanders have already parted ways with Luke Richardson and Kelly Buchberger.
Richardson will head to Montreal and serve as the Canadiens’ assistant coach and Buchberger will be the newest head coach for the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Greg Cronin was with the Isles’ organization for the past four seasons and now he will serve as the head coach for the American Hockey League’s (AHL) newest franchise, the Colorado Eagles.
The Eagles were formerly a member of the ECHL but will make the jump to the AHL this season to serve as the Colorado Avalanche’s affiliate.