Jack Capuano Out as Islanders Head Coach
The worst team in the Eastern Conference made a major change yesterday when they fired head coach Jack Capuano. This coming just one season after Capuano led the Islanders to their first playoff series win since 1993. The Islanders were expected to compete in the playoffs again this year, but they have fallen miles short of that goal. With over half the season complete, New York currently sits dead last in the Eastern Conference with 42 points. It was obvious changes were going to be made and firing the coach may just be the beginning of a huge shake up in New York.
There was no way Capuano was going to survive a season as disastrous as this one, but this really wasn't his fault. The Islanders lost three key players this offseason, and did not really replace any of them. Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, and Matt Martin all left in free agency. The Islanders only major signing was left wing Andrew Ladd, who has been atrocious this year. Ladd was brought in to play on the top line with John Tavares and score a ton of goals. Unfortunately, Ladd has been a major disappointment and only has 8 goals and 4 assists on the season. The Islanders sub-par roster is more of a reflection on the GM than the coach, and that is where I think more blame should be placed.
General Manager Garth Snow has done a terrible job with this team. He never should have let three important forwards walk away in free agency, and he at least should of found adequate replacements for them. The Islanders fourth line is nothing like it used to be without Matt Martin, they don't have a good second line center without Frans Nielsen, and they are starved for goals without Kyle Okposo. This team is in shambles and it's mostly due to the GM. He also gave ridiculous contracts to fourth liners Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck. Snow is not setting this team up to win now, or win in the future. Unless major changes are made to the roster, this team is going nowhere. The coach is always the first person to get fired, but unless Garth Snow can quickly turn things around in New York, he should be on the chopping block as well.