New York Islanders fans, and the surrounding blogosphere, are convinced that Jack Capuano needs to be fired. And they have filled the internet up with reasons this should happen. But what are the reasons this hasn’t happened yet?
When the New York Islanders hired Jack Capuano as coach, to replace Scott Godon, on that cold November day, it was an odd hire. And it was made by a man who had been an even more odd hire as Islanders GM, Garth Snow.
Six years later Snow continues to defy convention and public sentiment by not letting Capuano go. There must be reasons. It is worth exploring what some of them might be.
First, let us eliminate the ones that are obviously the rantings of angry fans. “Snow is stupid, lazy, or doesn’t care. And he doesn’t know anything about hockey.”
The man has been in the NHL game for more than two decades. He knows more about hockey than every reader of this blog combined. And any man who becomes a professional athlete, and gets his MBA, is not stupid or lazy.
The Rationality of Irrationality
So there must be a rational reason for the seemingly irrational state of Jack Capuano’s job security.
Loyalty? Jack and Garth have known each other longer than you have been familiar with their names. Sometimes loyalty makes a person blind to his friend’s faults, or more forgiving than he should be. Garth does seem unfailingly loyal to those who work their way into his inner circle.
Sometimes loyalty makes a person blind to his friend’s faults, or more forgiving than he should be. Garth does seem unfailingly loyal to those who work their way into his inner circle. Gwyder. Cairns. Weight.
A shared fate? Maybe Ledecky has told Snow something to the effect of “Hey, he’s your guy. If he fails then you’re gone”. We don’t know enough about Ledecky and Malkin’s management style yet to know if that’s how they operate or not. But it is possible.
It is also possible that Garth Snow doesn’t know enough about his new bosses and he fears he is tied to the fate of Jack Capuano. Dumping him might make him look weak in their eyes. We don’t know. But a guy who complains, unprompted, during draft weekend that “they s*** on me” is certainly aware of the perception of others.
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Anti-Player bias? I can imagine that Garth Snow might operate the New York Islanders under the premise that the players are responsible for their fate. Maybe he had played on too many teams where he knew the fired coach was a scapegoat, and felt that had the coach been given real backup, he might have succeeded. Is he overcompensating on those grounds?
No better choices? Maybe Garth Snow sees what many of you see. Perhaps he is thinking that the New York Islanders would be no better off with the likely in-house candidates like Doug Weight and Bridgeport’s Thompson.
Would you forgive Garth Snow if he is simply out there looking for the right person for the position? It is certainly better to hire the right coach three weeks from now, then the wrong coach now.
I believe in a universe of logic and order. And my brain seeks to break this chaotic world down into understandable concepts. Though there doesn’t seem to be any reason Jack Capuano survives in this job, survive he has. There must be a reason.