The New York Islanders announced today that they have hired Mitch Korn to be their Director of Goaltending. The rebuild from the top down continues.
In a way, it’s like Lou Lamoriello never left the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now the President of Hockey Operations and General Manager for the New York Islanders the task is basically the same. But this time he sits at the top of the pyramid.
Rebuild a once great franchise and return it to glory not only on the ice but in the front office.
In Toronto, Lou was a step below the man making the calls for the Maple Leafs. Brendan Shannahan was the one who cleared out his front office and brought in the best names in business one by one. Now Lou is in the President’s chair, and he’s doing the exact same thing.
Excellence Breeds Excellence.
Outside of the glory years, the New York Islanders haven’t been a destination for players. It still isn’t. Their practice facility is 22 miles away from their home arena in Brooklyn. That home arena has a number of flaws. Not to mention that the Isles will play in two facilities in 18-19.
One that wasn’t fit for NHL games but a few months ago. And the other, again, with a number of flaws. Like sightlines, ice quality, uncentered scored boards, etc…
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Then there’s the fact that their star player left the team. In the prime of his career, no less. Blame him all you want (he deserves some of it) but the franchise absolutely failed him for years, there’s no question.
With a ridiculous off-ice situation and a bad situation on the ice, it’s no wonder players aren’t lining up to play for the Islanders. But that’s changing.
But in just a few short months the Islanders have taken major steps in re-branding their image as a bottom tier NHL franchise to one dedicated to excellence.
First, it was bringing in Lou Lamoriello to direct everything. Then came Stanley Cup winning head coach Barry Trotz. And now Mitch Korn, widely regarded as the best goalie coach in the game, is now the Director of Goaltending for the Islanders.
That’s three marquee acquisitions made by the Islanders. That’s three members of the Islanders front office that have a championship pedigree. Excellence is very much breeding excellence for the Islanders.
It’s not that hiring Mitch Korn has now immediately turned the Islanders into a premier destination for all free agents across the league. But it’s a statement. That the Islanders will strive for excellence, that the’ll put their money where their mouth is and bring in the best quality in order to win.
The owners have been preaching excellence for a while now. But until this offseason, all we saw as the proof of that statement was a beautiful practice facility and Andrew Ladd.
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It’s going to take some time to rebuild this franchise. But after the hiring of Lou Lamoriello, then Barry Trotz, and now Mitch Korn, it’s clear that the New York Islanders are taking steps int he right direction.