THE MORNING SKATE: What's the Next Coaching Move?

Yesterday the Islanders let two assistant coaches go, Dean Chynoweth and Scott Allen, who were both part of Scott Gordon’s old bench crew. But even though they were Gordon hires, they spent the last (nearly) two seasons under Jack Capuano as Capuano took over from Gordon in November 2010.

We’ll have to wait and see what the next move is. One idea is that the Islanders are either holding the assistants accountable for the failures of last season and now Capuano will be given a chance with a different set of assistant, but not necessarily ‘his guys’. Allen and Chynoweth were responsible for the PK and defense, neither of which fared quite so good this year. And whether you like him as a coach or not, the power play was improved under Doug Weight (although of course this was helped along due in part to the return of Mark Streit). Another way this could work out is that the team could clear out Capuano as well at a later point in the summer, as a new coach could be enticed to come to Long Island by being allowed to bring in their own staff.

My guess is that it will be the first situation and Capuano has one more year on a short leash, with Weight and potentially Brent Thompson on his staff but we’ll have to wait and see. And while Thompson has done a great job in Bridgeport, maybe he should be allowed to continue doing just that. He’s only one year removed from an ECHL outpost in Alaska and, as you can see, the Islanders coaching situation is quite muddled. Having Capuano behind the bench with two of his assistants basically being “head coaches in waiting” with Thompson and Weight, well, that’s an awkward work environment.

Even though it’s the off-season, Keith is still hard at work grabbing video. Here’s last night’s capture from the NBC Sports Network studio show where Keith Jones describes the time he mistook what kind of player Rich Pilon was, because Pilon was wearing a visor. The game in question was Game Two back in 1993 of the infamous series.