NY Islanders News

Islanders ECHL affiliate make GM/coaching change

New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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There's another coaching change within the New York Islanders organization. First, it was Barry Trotz being let go by the Islanders after the completion of the 21-22 season and now it's David Cunniff who is leaving the Worcester Railers (ECHL affiliate) under mutual agreement.

Cunniff was with the Islanders ECHL affiliate from 2019-20 when he took over for Jamie Russell. In his two-season as GM and head coach the Railers went 53-68-9-2 and missed the playoffs in both seasons.

Note: There was no 2020-21 ECHL season on account of COVID 19 forcing the league to cancel the entire season.

New York Islanders affiliate make GM/coaching change

While the Railers didn't make the ECHL playoffs under Cunniff's stewardship, they still picked up 71 points in 71 games on the 21-22 season. They only finished 0.014 points percentage out of the playoffs. They were pretty close to the post-season. Things were trending in the right direction now that Cunniff departs the Railers organization.

And maybe you think, meh it's just the ECHL, but consider that the Islanders do send NHL-contracted prospects there to get some much-needed playing time. So who's there at the ECHL does matter for the Islanders and their youngsters.

Forwards like Collin Adams and Reece Newkirk, both in the second year of their ELC's played a considerable portion of their 21-22 season in the ECHL with Cunniff's Railers.

Adams played ten game with the Railers and put up three goals and seven points.
Newkirk played 36 games with the Railers and scored 11 goals and 28 points.

The Bridgeport Islanders would like to have had both with them, but sending one of either to play at the ECHL level gets them guaranteed top-nine playing time. The ECHL players with ~16 skaters compared to the 18 in the AHL or NHL.

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