The Morning Skate: On Coaches in Basements and Fixing the Team That’s in the Basement

Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:

#IslesTwitter can be a weird place where weird things are said or joked about and suddenly made into truth. The other day, another wacky rumor started. No, not the one about the coach getting fired from after the Red Wings game on November 29th. The one about the head coach currently living in the general manager’s basement.

This one’s not true, not at all (and was laughed at by the team staff, in case you weren’t sure). Just more wackiness that probably started as a bad joke and turned into truth because Twitter.

We have it on good authority that after replacing Scott Gordon in 2010 that Jack Capuano did stay with Garth Snow for a period of time, but that was it and he currently has his own place.

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 10.07.35 PMNow for the important stuff, on how to get the team out of the basement of the standings.

My apologies for the lack of writing yesterday, I was knocked a little loopy and a lot sore from some dental work. But it looks like a lot of writers and bloggers did an excellent job dissecting what’s wrong and what change needs to come.

Chris McNally at Lighthouse Hockey thought it is time to get rid of three “veteran” Islanders. That is, while they still have some trade value.

Its easy to say this guy stinks or this guy isn’t producing so let’s trade him for something unrealistic. That’s not what this piece is. Honestly, in my eyes the ship has sailed on the following three players and their Islanders careers. When taking a hard look at what these players most likely can/will offer the Isles in the future, it seems like the smartest path is to move on from each of them.

So while these guys still may have a fan or two left throughout the NHL Executive community, it’s time for Snow to sell these players while he still can.

You should click the link, but for the spoiler the three are Josh Bailey, Andrew MacDonald and Matt Martin.

Trading MacDonald may actually be an excellent idea. He’s got a super low cap hit, so very tradeable to many teams, even though half the league is in a cap crunch. MacDonald also gets at lot of respect around the league for playing a ton of minutes and might be a guy who could get a bigger return on the market than he really should.

At Newsday, Art Staple wonders if it’s time to rebuild the rebuild. The mere though of that should make you dry heave and that’s not a shot at Staple at all, that’s from the discomfort of imagining rebuilding after seven years of attempting to do so.

So what now? Is it time to completely retool once again? What would that involve?

The first order of business, I believe, would be flipping Thomas Vanek for as big a return as possible.

Yes, unless you can sign him (unlikely under current conditions).

The next move is to plug in prospects where the Islanders can

Please, please. Please?

For my money, move number one is bringing Peter Laviolette — before another team does for Chrissake — and see what happens. The Islanders are playing with no left and, from what Staple says, no one has stepped up in the locker room. A lot of times, the players don’t give a hoot about “playing for the coach.”

Imagine if you have a boss you don’t like at work and your contract doesn’t expire until 2017. Are you gonna take an extra hour at lunch and not give a damn about what boss thinks? Yeah, you might.

So change it up and see what happens. Before tearing up the roster, which is more cumbersome and could do more damage to the on-ice product, try Laviolette and see if it works.

I don’t do this often and should do it more; here’s a compilation of what bloggers, fans, writers whatever you would like to be defined as — it’s all very fluid these days — are saying about how to fix the team. Please give them a read.

Dread the 2 Goal Lead — What did we do to deserve this? (great blog name, btw)

NYIslesBlog.com — Fixing the Islanders

Andy Graziano at Eyes on Isles

39 comments
jepliberty
jepliberty

Hey Kevin, If these are your true feelings in the article above, I see the same amount of frustration  in your writing as many of us have, it's true I seldom read the articles by you 3 guys, but just go straight to the comments, I will now pause to read more of them. PS a very good article. 

jepliberty
jepliberty

These postings do not go into one's e-mail, like the Discus did.

ibethr4u
ibethr4u

I can't believe Cappy actually said his team played well. "Their big players made big plays for them, but I thought we held them and played well. We just couldn't get a goal tonight." REALLY?

NOTICE TO NHL:
Does your team or individual players have any significant milestones that you would like to accomplish?  Just play the New York Islanders.

The Islanders would be glad to accommodate all comers.

Need your first NHL goal? Play the Islanders.

Need your first NHL shutout? Just play the Islanders.

Need a losing streak broken? Just play the Islanders

Need points in the standings? Just play the Islanders.

Need a good scrimmage game? Just play the New York Islanders!

Need a milestone goal  or win for a goalie? Just play the Islanders.

You name it they are there for you.

Need to get rid of a player? Waive him and Snow will be more than accommodating and pick him up.

If you are a coach at any level and need a job for a few years just to get back on your feet, Ask the Islanders for a Head Coaching job.

Snow will gladly give you 240 to 320 games regardless of record. (He is actually very lenient in that regard)

Sorry guys, I just couldn't help it!

ibethr4u
ibethr4u

Aside from my earlier rant, one of the things that bothers me most is the way Capuano defends his team. All he does is make excuses for them. Oh woe is us. We played really well  but we just couldn't catch a break, or the other teams top players made the big plays or our battle level was good but  didn't get it done or the best one....we deserved better. He's got this team believing that the only thing missing is a few breaks and it will all be better. He is lost and his team is lost with him. They are broken and need a new coach to fix them. They seem to have forgotten that "GOOD TEAMS MAKE THEIR OWN BREAKS. "  if YOU GO INTO A GAME THINKING ALL YOU NEED IS A BREAK OR TWO THEN YOU ARE PLAYING THE WRONG GAME. YOU SHOULD GO HOME AND JUST PLAY THE LOTTERY! Just saying.

jepliberty
jepliberty

Oh good, the games over, I can now watch the History channel

jepliberty
jepliberty

9 loses in a row, what is this teams record for that string?

jepliberty
jepliberty

Shut out by a 4th string goalie ha ha Wang, Snow Cappy all suck a  big one.

dynstyeror
dynstyeror

I just don't think Snow would ever hire Laviolette. And not just because Snow was good ol' back up goalie when Lavi was the coach. But mainly because I can't see him hiring anyone with any experience. Any one with actual NHL coaching experience would make Snow look bad to Wang. Snow has to keep Wang in the dark about his lack of knowledge as a GM to keep his job. 

ivo leggi
ivo leggi

snow wants the pick this year!

daly
daly

Save Us Spano

JoshBarely
JoshBarely

Guess everyone is starting to read what the josh barely blog at hockeyindependent.com has been saying for over a year.

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

as for matt martin, his performance in st. louis really made me question what he's thinking.

bailey would get you a bag of pucks.

mac donald imo has the most value.  we knock him a lot, but he might be a better d-man than hamonic when you consider the whole package.

la violette i'm all in.

i saw a good chunk of anaheim-chicago.  that one's gonna be a long night...

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

it feels like the site had some dental work too.

since72
since72

I'm clearly in favor of cleaning house starting with the GM and coach.  Only JT, KO, Hammer, Franz, Cizikis and Nelson are players on the current club that I would keep.  Completely agree that Vanek should be moved for the best return.  He can be combined with other players and non top prospects to bring  a Goalie who can be a #1 and an NHL defensemen.  These are critical needs going forward.  Whoever these guys turn out to be, have to be signed through next season.  Cleaning house is in order and overdue.  Play Strome, Lee, deHaan, Donovan and Nelson.  The season is done anyway so get them some NHL experience so that we have a chance for next season.

erika
erika

Conversation with my 6 yr. old god daughter Marissa last week.

ME:  Marissa, want to watch the Islander game with me?

Marissa:  (unexplicably excited) yes, yes, l want to watch the Islanders!

ME:  That's great Marissa, why do you like them so much?

Marissa:  Because they're small, like me!

Out of the mouth of babes!......

Mike Pelegrinis
Mike Pelegrinis

Before anything we need laviolette behind the bench ASAP and let him define how this team needs to be fixed via trade, waiver players and give the right players the correct minutes that they deserve.

Jeff Roland
Jeff Roland

mcinally is a moron, Matt Martin is on his

"list of 3". I'll take a team of Matt martins, he's the only one who gives a sh*t. its soft, ice dancing Nielsen who should be moved. and then bring up strome.

Brunstah
Brunstah

I could be wrong in this respect (and it is hard to prove one way or another since none of us can read minds) but I do not buy that this team has given up on the coaching staff. For weeks now this team looks like it has given up on itself. It is not from a lack to caring (which seems to be the go to criticism for all fans but rarely are they right.) It seems instead that they doubt their own ability to play with anyone in the NHL right now. Part of it is the woe-is-me sort of mentality that we see throughout the fanbase (in that I am sure the players feel the same way.) This team is good enough to be a .500 team and compete in this lousy division if they can get out of their own way (and get some goaltending.)


Sadly while Capuano is not the main problem (something about the players are the ones doing the losing goes here) I still think he is not the solution. I have not seen any reason to believe that Capuano is a special NHL coach. To me he seems replaceable by any of the random AHL coaches bouncing around the league. So while I would feel bad about Cappy being fired (I know I'm a softy) I do think the time has come to move on. This team is mentally destroyed right now and short of bringing in a hot goaltender and getting Lubo back for tonights game nothing will change. Make a move now and see what happens.


As for Laviolette who is to say that he would take the job? Sure he has a talented forward corps to work with but there is no guarantee that the defensemen develop into NHL players and the goalie situation is a mess. You would have to convince him that help is on the way in the form of a goaltender and maybe a veteran d-man. Is the Isles job attractive enough for him that he takes it over other potentially more lucrative job offers in the summer? I have my doubts.

Dino Rekatas
Dino Rekatas

When are they going to get real? I mean seriously. Enough is enough and it's time for a change.

rob
rob

what's the definition of insanity? believing the islanders get it right. its time to fire snow and hire the Zamboni driver as GM hey wanted a new GM right here he is....me Chinese I think you're all stupid lalalalala  

mitchfritz
mitchfritz

grabner should be on that list too... but I don't agree with giving up on  the rebuild or any players yet..not before they give up on cappuano...a coaching changing makes all the sense in world..you don't have to tear apart roster,trade away every asset..a new coach brings new system ,new breath,and a instant jolt of change..and if u bring in a proven winner like lavi..you ring instant credabilitly into that locker room..

ohiofan
ohiofan

if 3 even strength goals in the last 4 games, not to mention won/loss record, isn't enough reason to make MAJOR line changes NOW don't know when will be a good time to. Result might end up being the same but at least it will look like somebodys trying something. Maybe the players will have a little more jump and some hope for better results if nothing else. Right now they look beaten down and going through the motions. Been long enough for just hoping things gel. Don't care who they put where at this point just try something different.

Michael DiGirolamo
Michael DiGirolamo

Until wang is GONE??? This is It!!!!! They need to get REAL hockey people that have a clue? I keep hearing how great the Isles draft????? REALLY other then JT which with all the hype my dog would have drafted. The guys Snow has drafted seem to be one Bust after Another?????? I Hate the move to brooklyn but if it means the end of wang? Then it will be ok.

Jason Zimmermann
Jason Zimmermann

@erika Never question the honesty of a child! ... well, unless you think they're lying. In this case, she most certainly isn't.

mitchfritz
mitchfritz

@Jeff Roland

very odd martin would be on the list..a homegrown 4th line banger who's eceeded any early expectations..why would his time be up..how much do u think u could get for him..really don't understand his name on a list like that and not someone like grabner..who u might actually get something back for.

Don22
Don22

If you seriously value Martin over Nielson then I question your hockey sense.  And that's not a slap at Martin, but he is good for energy and that's it.  Nielson is a playmaker who actually can play defense too.

steviel
steviel

@Brunstah I agree. Lavy is probably still collecting a check from Philly so unless he is desperate to coach or Wang blows him away with a major contract I have my doubts that he wants to get involved with this mess. also like you I feel our problems go way beyond the coach. Cappy is not great but the same coach led them on last years season ending tear. What changed? players and injuries,  not coaches. That points directly at Snow. We need a whole new culture and that starts with a new director of hockey operations. Maybe Lavy would jump at that? 

Don22
Don22

I think he is talking about trading players that actually have some value.  They won't be able to get much for Grabner because even with all his "potential" talent, he has yet to prove he can bring it consistently.  Nobody is going to trade for potential.


I have said before that I don't put a ton of stock in coaches, but I to agree that it's probably time to make a move. 

Isleguy27
Isleguy27

Just curious, which players you consider a bust that Snow drafted?

mark42
mark42

mark/nj      Hire Laviolette  Don't make any trades until he see's the team


Have the Islander's break the contract of Mikko Koskinen with the Russian Team and give the job to him, he might be the answer. Send Aaron Ness down, way to small, bring Adam Pelech in to replace Ness. Bring Ryan Strome up, and bring Ander's Lee up. Garth Snow is not a GM, why would someone with his size have so many small player's on his Team, maybe he just doesn't give a s---.  Hey, he came from the Flyer's. just like Millbury, came from a Team that hated the NY Islander's.  Campy has lost the Team, they need a real coach, please bring in Peter Loviolette.  They need to bring there bigger defencemen in "NOW", when you look at the size differences of these teams, Duck's, Jets, Blue's, Carolina, Kiing's, they begin the game trying but their opposition is just to big for them, after a while they are worn out trying to battle it out with teams that are much bigger and stronger. the Islander's have no drive and direction with Campy, bring in Laviolette and bring up some of there big defencemen, bring up Strome, Lee , and bring in Pelech and try to get Koskinen.















grand_puba
grand_puba

@Don22 I agree. I'm definitely a Martin fan, but Nielsen is a talent for all the criticism he takes on here. I understand you have to trade something to get something, but I feel as though we've invested a lot of time into Frans to watch him flourish somewhere else at this point. He's not the problem.

Jason Zimmermann
Jason Zimmermann

@Lyle Odelein Josh Baily since day 1 of Josh Bailey. Josh Bailey, Garth Snow's first ever first round pick. Josh Bailey, the guy who's sucked forever, but somehow, Islander fans would think he was going to "explode". Josh Bailey, the guy who Brian Compton said, "Don't give up on Josh Bailey." - Josh Bailey, the guy who's poor play got me kicked off of Islandermania.com because I was apparently the only lunatic in the world who thought Josh Bailey sucked. Josh Bailey, the guy who Islander fans said, "Trading Josh Bailey would be such a Milbury move." - Josh Bailey, the guy who's perpetually lost on ice, looks shocked when he gets the puck, then turns it over at the blue line. Josh Bailey, the next player in the long list of sucky #12s. I'd like to continue, but I'm sick of it.