Jim Hiller has been an assistant on the Toronto Maple Leafs bench since 2014, responsible for the team’s powerplay unit.
The New York Islanders are on the verge of repairing their most apparent deficiency last season — the power-play.
Hearing former TOR assistant Jim Hiller will be joining NYI coaching staff. A Lamoriello favourite.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 19, 2019
Since 2014, Jim Hiller has been tasked with the Toronto Maple Leafs powerplay. Cumulatively, since the 2014-15 season, the Maple Leafs have the 11th-best powerplay in the NHL.
Given with news that the Anaheim Ducks hired Dallas Eakins to be the team’s new head coach, Lane Lambert will not be the possible departure this hiring could insinuate. Scott Gomez, the team’s current powerplay coach, led the team to the third-worst powerplay in the NHL.
In speaking to Arthur Staple of The Athletic, Barry Trotz spoke frankly on the Isles powerplay and how it affected the team in the 2018-19 season:
“We’ve got to find that balance, and it might be as simple as getting 20 extra goals on the power play,” Trotz said. “If we’d been able to be closer to what that offense and that power play was the year before and still give up 100 less goals, then you’re not thinking, ‘This team needs to score more.'”
It’s no secret the Islanders were lacking in offense last season. At the end of the day, this is an underrated step in the right direction.
Nearly all of the Isles’ success last season can be attributed to having the proper staff in charge. The team more than carries the individual talent to combine an effective powerplay as well.
As Lou Lamoriello continues to explore ways to add more firepower to his existing lineup, this personnel decision should prove to add some points on its own to the Isles’ standings next season.