The idea that Garth Snow would fire head coach Jack Capuano seems a bit outrageous at this point in the season, because it would require the New York Islanders general manager to make a proactive, season-saving move and Snow seems incapable of doing that.
When Snow made the Matt Moulson for Thomas Vanek trade – a deal that looks redundant and shortsighted just over a month later – the Islanders were 4-4-3 and second in the Metroterrible Dvision. Since then, they’ve gone 4-12-2, they sit at the bottom of the division and there’s talk Capuano could be spiked in favor of Peter Laviolette, who himself was fired by the Philadelphia Flyers at the start of the season.
But before we get to a potential new coach, let’s discuss the current general manager.
I like Snow. I think he’s made the most of a terrible situation, with a losing team playing in an asbestos-filled tomb with an owner whose ring tone is likely carnival music. He retained his core players in an attempt at stability, and made the playoffs for the first time in ages last season. Talk to agents, and they’ll tell you he’s a straight shooter they like to work with.
Yes, it’s great that Jonas Hiller or Ryan Miller might be on the trade radar now. Hey, maybe he’ll eventually demand that the lineup get a shot of adrenaline from young players – Brock Nelson in the NHL, Ryan Strome in the AHL – that haven’t gotten a fair shot from Capuano. Maybe this team rallies when Evgeni Nabokov and Lubo Visnovsky come back.
But his inaction during this 2-11-2 skid may have torpedoed the season. The Islanders are 12 points out of the final wild card spot, and nine points behind the Rangers for the final seed in the Metro.
Would Laviolette make a difference? Absolutely, if not in a rescue attempt for this season. I’ve always viewed Capuano as the coach that gets a team to a certain place, and then someone more accomplished – say, Laviolette has a ring – takes over to bring the team to the next level.
So Chris Botta’s right: Bring him back before someone else hires him.
He’s learned a lot since the Islanders gave him his first head coaching gig, and he’ll have a GM that isn’t bat [excrement] crazy like Mike Milbury to fire him two years later.
When Milbury fired him, he said "the lack of having fun was noted.”
Well, the lack of fun this season for the Islanders is duly noted. And it’s time to bring Lavvy back to turn things around.