Islanders: Checking in on their coaches of the past decade
By Johnny Berman
Term with the Islanders: 2008-10
Record: 64-94-23 (.417)
Playoff appearances: None
Scott Gordon became the coach of the Islanders prior to the 2008-09 season. He had just been named AHL Coach of the Year the previous season with the Providence Bruins. Though he had an illustrious tenure in Providence, Gordon never tasted similar success with the Isles.
During Gordon’s first two seasons on the Island, the Islanders compiled losing records and finished last in their division. It appeared the Islanders were en route to a similar fate during the 2010-11 season when they got off to a 4-10-3 start. Nonetheless, General Manager Garth Snow had seen enough and fired Gordon just 17 games into the season.
Following his dismissal, Gordon became a special adviser to Snow for the remainder of the 2010-11 season. The next season, Gordon was hired as an assistant coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Gordon lasted three years in Toronto under two head coach regimes before being fired following the 2013-14 season.
Two years later, Gordon became head coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. So far, he has been successful and has led the team to the playoffs in two of his four seasons there. His best season was in 2017-18 when he led his team to the third round of the playoffs. Gordon has coached current Flyers stars, like Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim, while they were in Lehigh Valley.
Gordon even had a brief stint as the interim head coach of the Flyers during the 2018-19 season. During this period, he amassed a 25-22-4 record. This record would have been better had the Flyers not lost ten of their final 13 games that season. Following that season, Gordon returned to Lehigh Valley, where he is still the head coach.
Gordon has now proven on two occasions that he can win in the AHL. Time will tell if he gets another chance to prove himself in the NHL.