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- American ice hockey player and coach
The New York Islanders have fired head coach Jack Capuano and named assistant general manager Doug Weight the team’s interim coach.
Capuano took over as interim coach on Nov. 15, 2010, replacing Scott Gordon and was then named head coach at the end of the season. In his tenure, Capuano guided the Islanders to a 227-192-64 record that included three playoff appearance. In the previous two seasons, the Islanders hit 101 and 100 points but this year, the group’s performance dropped.
The Islanders hold a 17-17-8 record, which ranks last in the Eastern Conference. New York is eight points out of the final Wild Card spot, but has a six-game homestand coming up. The Islanders will also play eight of their next nine games in Barclays Center.
“The New York Islanders would like to thank Jack for his tireless work throughout his seven seasons with the organization as head coach,” general manager Garth Snow said in a statement released by the Islanders. “His leadership guided the team to the playoffs in three of the past four years, which included two straight 100-point seasons. He is a great coach and an even better person. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
Said Capuano in a statement provided by New York, “It’s an honor to have served this historic franchise and its passionate fans. I’d like to thank Garth and our ownership group for the opportunity to be the Head Coach of the Islanders. I’d also like to recognize our coaching staff, training staff and players for all of their hard work.”
On Nov. 16, Snow gave Capuano a vote of confidence in a story by TSN.
“Jack is an excellent coach,” Snow said. “We have good players. I love our coaching staff. In fact, last time I checked, he coached in the World Cup and there were some pretty good coaching staffs.”
Though Capuano took the fall for the team’s struggles, a lot of the decisions Snow made last offseason haven’t worked out. He let forwards Matt Martin, Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo walk in free agency and added Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera. The 30-year-old Ladd (who was signed to a seven-year, $38.5 million contract) has eight goals in 41 games and the 37-year-old Chimera (who was signed for two years at $4.5 million total) has 16 points in 42 games.
The decision to fire Capuano comes over a month after it was reported the team is looking for a new executive to help run the club, which seemed to also put Snow’s future with the organization in doubt. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported new Islanders owner Jon Ledecky was on the team’s recent road trip.
Capuano is the second NHL head coach to be fired this season. In late November the Florida Panthers fired coach Gerard Gallant.
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