Islanders: Over a quarter of current NHL coaches have links to the Isles

Over a quarter of them can be directly linked back to the New York Islanders.

The hockey world is small a one. That’s why when you look at the other 30 current coaches in the NHL you can link over a quarter of them back to the New York Islanders in some way shape or form.

When I talk about links I don’t mean they are related to a player that played for the New York Islanders like Joel Quenneville. Quenneville’s second-cousin is David Quenneville, the prospect we sent to the New Jersey Devils for Andy Greene.

I’m talking about direct links to the Islanders. These coaches must have spent some time either coaching the Isles or wore the blue and orange at some point in their careers.

Dallas Eakins | Anaheim Ducks

Dallas Eakins played 120 games in the NHL from 1992 through 2002. He featured twice for the New York Islanders back in the 1999-2000 season registering two points and 43 minutes of ice-time.

The Isles traded him to Chicago on March 3, 2000 for future considerations.

Jeremy Colliton | Chicago Blackhawks

The Islanders drafted Jeremy Colliton in the second round of the 2003 NHL draft. He’d play 57 games in his NHL career, all for the New York Islanders. In those 57 games he’d score three goals and six points.

Colliton would be a much better AHL player. In 326 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Colliton scored 77 goals and 203 points.

Rick Bowness | Dallas Stars

Rick Bowness never played for the Islanders, but he coached them for 100 games in the 90s. Bowness was around from 1996 to 1997 sandwiched between two Mike Milbury stints behind the bench.

Bowness’s record with the Isles wasn’t great with a .440 win percentage and going 38-50-12. But it’s not like Milbury was any better. Mike held a .350 win percentage before Bowness and a .371 win percentage after Bowness. Clearly, coaching wasn’t the problem for the Isles.

 Todd McLellan | Los Angeles Kings

McLellan was drafted by the Islanders in the fifth round of the 1986 draft with the 104th overall pick. Todd McLellan only played five games in the NHL, all of them are with the New York Islanders.

Alain Nasreddine | New Jersey Devils

The Islanders acquired Alain Nasreddine in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on March 9, 2000. The Isles got Nasreddine and Igor Ulanov, for Matthieu Descoteaux and Christian Laflamme.

While Ulanov would never play a game for the Islanders, Nasreddine would skate in three games for the Isles. He was eventually traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Steve Webb.

D.J. Smith | Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators new coach D.J. Smith was drafted by the Isles with the 41st overall pick in the 1995 Entry Draft.

By March 1996, Smith was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the deal that would see Wendel Clark go back to the Leafs and see the Isles acquire Kenny Jonsson and the Leafs first-round pick in 1997.

Craig Berube | St Louis Blues

Like most of the names on this list, Craig Berube doesn’t have a long distinguished career with the Islanders. The 2019 Stanley Cup champion played 38 games for the Isles in 2000-01 season.

The left-wing scored two points and had 54 penalty minutes.

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Travis Green | Vancouver Canucks

Travis Green has the longest New York Islanders resume of all the names on this list. Selected with the 23rd overall in the 1989 draft by the Islanders, Green would play 388 games wearing blue and orange.

He had his best years in the NHL with the Isles. In 1995-96, Green had a career season with 25 goals and 70 points.

In 1998, the Islanders traded Green to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for J.J. Daigneault, Mark Janssens, and Joe Sacco.