Islanders Fire Capuano
The New York Islanders fired head coach Jack Capuano. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by assistant general manager Doug Weight, who also served as a coach on Capuano’s staff.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most Islanders fans probably feel this is long overdue. After winning their first playoff series in 23 years last season, the Isles are now last in the Eastern Conference and eight points out of a wild-card berth. With their playoff hopes fading and no help coming from a stagnant trade market, firing Capuano was the only option Isles general manager Garth Snow had to reverse their fortunes.
Capuano’s faced his share of criticism this season. However, it’s worth noting the Isles reached the playoffs in three of his previous seven seasons behind the bench, with two 100-point campaigns in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Capuano is also paying the price for Snow’s inability to suitably replace departed veterans Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin last summer. He also had to make do with a three-goalie system since the middle of last season, while once-promising forward Ryan Strome has struggled over the last two seasons.
Sometimes a coaching change can spark an improvement. Given the Isles’ roster deficiencies this season, it’ll be interesting to see if Weight has better luck than Capuano.