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Islanders ECHL affiliate makes GM and coaching change

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 28: A general view of the arena prior to the game between the New York Islanders and the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 28, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 28: A general view of the arena prior to the game between the New York Islanders and the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 28, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders ECHL affiliate, Worcester Railers, have made a front-office change by hiring a new general manager and head coach.

With a 5-12-3 record the Worcester Railers, the ECHL affiliate to the New York Islanders, find themselves at the bottom of the ECHL. With that, Team President Michael Myers decided to make a change. The team’s general manager and head coach Jamie Russell has been relieved of his duties. His replacement is David Cunniff.

Cunniff will take on both the GM and head coaching roles that Rivers previously held.

Jamie Russell had been with the Railers for about three seasons. In that time Russell had a 73-66-20 record and got the Railers to the postseason once.

Also gone is assistant coach Derek Army.

Who Is Cunniff?

Russell’s replacement has an extensive resume with significant AHL coaching. Cunniff has held various coaching roles for a number of AHL teams since 2002.

His most recent gig was as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. Hartford is third in the AHL’s Atlantic Division with an 11-4-1-5 record.

Cunniff spent most of his time behind the bench for the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate. He spent a total of 12 years with the Sharks AHL affiliate from 2002 to 2014. He even had a stint in Worcester when the Sharks AHL was the Worcester Sharks between 2006 and 2015.

Cunniff brings more experience to the role that his predecessor had. Ideally, that helps drag the Railers out from the bottom of the league.

We don’t typically hear about the Railers much. If there’s any attention given to a league below the NHL it’s usually on the AHL. But we can’t forget that the Railers are still home to some Islanders prospects.

At the moment, the Islanders have two recently drafted players with the Railers. Defenseman and a seventh-round pick in 2016 David Quenneville as well as goalie and 2018 third-round pick Jakub Skarek.

Right now Skarek is sitting with a 3.69GAA and 0.867SV% in seven starts while Quenneville has a point in seven games. Perhaps with a new coach the team can turn things around and start stringing together some wins.

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