In a move that seemed like a long time coming, Jack Capuano was fired as head coach of the New York Islanders. The Islanders have had a rough start to the year and it looked like at some point they were going to need a scapegoat to pin it all on. General Manager Garth Snow finally had enough and decided to make a move, but the question is, was it the right one?
Many will tell you that Capuano had way too long of a leash this year. Most of the problems with the team can be tied back to Snow when it comes to player personnel decisions. Now after firing Capuano, he has effectively set a timer for his own job. His leash is going to be incredibly short. Will he have an opportunity to have another off-season to try and reset the ship?
With new ownership aboard for the Islanders within the past few years, they likely want to make their first big decision with the club. They want their stamp on the decisions rather than maintaining the old group’s strategies. Snow’s long-term signings have been criticized. Recently he decided to sign multiple fourth liners to long-term deals such as Casey Cizikas and Cal Cluuterbuck which didn’t make much financial sense.
Add that to the lack of support for John Tavares and it makes for a very messy situation. Tavares is still one of the better young players in the game and he is out there trying to be a one-man show. Playing with Chimera or Clutterbuck isn’t going to be the answer. They also believed that Andrew Ladd was going to be able to replace UFA Kyle Okposo. Unfortunately for them, the deal has been an unmitigated disaster.
Blame can be shared by both Snow and Capuano. It has only cost one of them their job for now, but don’t be surprised if Snow is right behind him out the door. High expectations and mediocre results will do that to a team in a big market.