Late last night Elliotte Friedman put an interesting cap on what was already a very exciting day for the New York Islanders.
Hearing New York Islanders have permission to talk to former Florida coach Gerard Gallant. He was an Islanders’ assistant from 2007-09.
I was extremely happy to see this tweet from Friedman this morning for several reasons.
One, I think Gallant would be a good fit with where the organization is right now. Two, Doug Weight, whose only coaching experience is under Jack Capuano (he doesn’t even have a coaching section on his wikipedia page) is not going to be the answer to our woes. Three, again, Doug Weight not exactly inspiring confidence as his prior responsibility, the power play, was firing at a blistering 13%. That’s good for 28th in the league.
For the large portion of the New York Islanders fan base too busy drying the tears of joy from their eyes to see this, I think this is definitely good news. Gerard Gallant looks like the coach that everyone wanted Jack Capuano to be. A coach who will foster young potential into star level talent.
Islander should be acquainted with Gallant from last year’s playoff series against the Panthers. What I find most interesting is the production that came from the Panther’s roster last year under Gallant’s guidance. Six of the top eight scorers were 25 years or under:
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- Jonathan Huberdeau – 23 yrs – 59 pts in 76 games
- Aleksander Barkov – 21 yrs- 59 pts in 66 games
- Vincent Trochek – 23 yrs – 53 pts in 76 games
- Reilly Smith – 25 yrs – 50 pts in 82 games
- Aaron Ekblad – 20 yrs – 36 pts in 78 games
- Nick Bjugstad – 24 yrs – 34 pts in 67 games
This is the kind of production I think we’d all more than welcome from our crop of youngsters. Gallant managed all that and he didn’t even have a John Tavares to work with.
All of this is not to say I think the Islanders season has been saved. Its odd to say, but as much as I’m glad Capuano is gone, I don’t want it to be as a scapegoat.
The failed results of this season cannot and should not be placed squarely on his shoulders.
My hope is that Garth is still enough on the hot seat to continue to make moves to improve this team. Hopefully enough to get John Tavares to sign an extension and return the team to form next season. Hiring Gerard Gallant would be such a move.