July 17, 2008

Islanders, Nolan Go Separate Ways

The Islanders have announced that the team and head coach Ted Nolan will be going their separate ways. The Islanders will begin their search for a new head coach immediately.

Anyone who was surprised by this hasn't been paying attention very much. Many people could see this coming beginning with some comments near the end of the season. It was clear that the GM and coach weren't on the same page, and although they tried to say everything was going to be worked out when they really sat down to think about it they could see it wasn't going to happen.

Now sure, everyone is sad to see Ted go. He led the team to a improbable playoff berth in 2006-2007, along with some help from the now departed Dubie. However, one can't overlook some of the flaws that were in Ted's coaching, flaws that could hinder the development of some of the younger talent that the team is trying to infuse. Ted preferred to go with veterans over the youth, which is fine for a coach who wants to win now. I would expect every coach to want to win now. You don't go into a season expecting to lose. However, you also don't continuously go with what is failing. And if a team is going through a youth movement, then you stick it out and just be patient. The rewards will be excellent in the future.

The Islander teams were slow under Nolan, that is no secret. Ted did want to play a more up tempo style at the beginning of his tenure. But he had to adjust. So when he had the opportunity to get faster with some young blood last season, why didn't he do it? The Islanders' playoff hopes were barely alive for much of the last couple of months, so why not? That's something that Ted only knows himself.

Now, Garth Snow has a chance to hire a coach of his own choosing as the Isles committee is now dead. As always it seems Wang will have some input on the new coach, but one would hope as little involvement as possible. Let Snow choose his own candidate on his own, someone who he can work with.

The Islanders say that they will be interviewing some high profile guys such as John Tortorella, Bob Hartley and Joel Quenneville. Good for them. Later today I will update this with some more in depth details of the candidates. It has been a while since I wrote and just wanted to get my thoughts out there.