Kevin SchultzOver the last few days, there have been a few different coaching changes across the league as teams being to prep for the draft and next season. Former Islanders coach Peter Laviolette, who was fired by the Flyers in the fall, found a new gig replacing Barry Trotz in Nashville. Lavy’s other old team, the Flyers, also made a move getting rid of GM Paul Holmgren, but not after signing Andrew MacDonald for the foreseeable future. Of course the story isn’t complete without another Islander link, Ron Hextall, getting the Flyers GM job after spending time in the organization as an assistant GM to Holgrem. Presumably learning to do the same things badly? Or learning what not to do? Not sure.
The Islanders had a move of their own at the end of the week last week, as NHL assistant Brent Thompson will once again become Bridgeport Head Coach Brent Thompson, as Scott Pellerin was let go. The rumblings that I’ve heard are that Pellerin didn’t get along well with his staff and there may have been some mistrust there. But I’d guess that sort of thing isn’t out of the ordinary when someone gets fired. On some level, it wasn’t working. The Islanders will be in the market for another assistant coach at the NHL level. Jeremy Weiss is really good at figuring out the penalty kill, so maybe him?
This is a few days old, but Garth Snow was a guest on Sportstalkradio 1240 on Sunday night and discussed a multitude of topics. LHH transcribed most of the important points, so definitely check out this link if you’re interested. Here are a couple quotes that I found important:
This stuck out to me a bit, especially the part about “no goaltenders for next season” which is much different than saying ‘we have a few guys and we need to get them signed’ or something like that. Is the plan to find two new bodies from outside the organization?
Snow also confirmed that Sebastian Collberg did have shoulder surgery and is currently rehabbing that injury on Long Island. He also mentioned John Tavares is just fine and went as far as to say that Tavares could play in the playoffs right now.
And on whether the Barclays Center will help lure free agents:
That’s certainly a change from the aw shucks, empty-pockets response of, ‘well they just don’t want to sign here what can we do?’ Hopefully that is something that the team can use to its advantage.
Griffin Reinhart is shining for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the playoffs, which is obviously a good thing. John MacKinnon from the Edmonton Journal was impressed:
And an Oil Kings associate coach called it the best hockey of his junior career:
“He’s been a presence on our back end since he got here and it’s been great to see who he’s become” both on and off the ice, said Hamilton. “When the pressure’s on you don’t shy away from it, you embrace it. And that’s always been a strength of his.
“Just (to see) that evolution of his game. He’s that much bigger and stronger and better.”
One thing to note about Reinhart is that he is one of the oldest players on the roster — third oldest to be exact — so this is what he should be doing. It’s great that he’s great, for sure, but it would be much more concerning if he wasn’t one of the best players on the ice. The real test will be in September at training camp where, you would hope, he would qualify for a roster spot after coming close last year.
Also: TSN’s Off-Season Game Plan for the Islanders… Is it OK to root for another team in the playoffs when yours is out?… These Danish soccer fans don’t just bring signs to the games, they bring a damned theatrical presentation… And in goalie news, what should Toronto do with James Reimer?