Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Isles Fire Capuano

The New York Islanders have fired head coach Jack Capuano. The team has had a very disappointing first half, struggling to a 17-17-8 record. It comes on the heels of the franchise's first playoff victory in 23 years.

Capuano will be replaced by Assistant GM Doug Weight on an interim basis.

"The New York Islanders would like to thank Jack for his tireless work throughout his seven seasons with the organization as head coach," general manager Garth Snow said. "His leadership guided the team to the playoffs in three of the past four years, which included two straight 100-point seasons. He is a great coach and an even better person. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward."

Snow's job appears to be safe for now, but he is widely believe to be a big part of the Islanders struggles this season. He failed to bring in top-level talent after letting Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen walk after last season. The Islanders also stumbled around their goaltending situation, keeping three goaltenders on the roster, which brought heated protest from Jaroslav Halak's agent. Halak has since been sent to the minors.

With star center John Tavares nearing free agency, the Isles have squandered much of his prime years by failing to place elite talent on his wing. Andrew Ladd was brought in to help but he has struggled in New York. Josh Bailey has had a good season but he isn't regarded as a long-term solution for a team that entered this season with hopes of becoming a true contender.

Capuano had a record of 227-191-64 in 482 games. He is second on the Islanders' all-time list behind Hockey Hall of Fame member Al Arbour in games coached (482) and wins, and Capuano was the fourth-longest tenured coach in the NHL, behind Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins, the Chicago Blackhawks' Joel Quenneville and Dave Tippett of the Arizona Coyotes.