Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Islanders Name Scott Gordon Coach

Guest blogger Brian Carey

The Islanders have made a huge annoucement. They have entered an affiliation with Odessa Jackalopes of the Central Hockey League (be sure to vote for Cheese Curds in the online fan poll).

Oh, wait...

The Islanders have ended their search for a new head coach, settling on reigning AHL coach of the year, Scott Gordon. This hiring may not send waves through the hockey world in terms of name recognition, but his resume with the Providence Bruins speaks for itself. He took the baby B's to a 55-18-3 record last season, finishing in the top 10 in both goals for and against. Granted, he's not inheriting an offensive juggernaut in this Isles team, but his committment to defense should produce immediate dividends for DiPietro. And if DP is on the same page with his head coach... well ... maybe we wouldn't have had to look for a new coach.

If for no other reason to be optimistic, just look at Providence Bruins 2004-2005 season. Playing under coach Gordon, one Mr. Andy Hilbert had 37 goals. Seriously... Click the link....

Will Islander fans be patient through what could be a long season? I hope so. For the first time in many, many years, the Islanders seem to be on the right path. A group of young, talented players, a head coach with a track record of developing and molding such players, and a GM who appears seriously committed to building a winner from within. Unfortunately, the right path means probably a long season ahead, with many bumps along the way.

Now, there is no one other than Garth Snow to blame or to congratulate. This is his team, his players, his coach. On paper, this looks like a team that can develop into something great. Of course, they don't play in a vacuum. Let's see if what we've been promised comes to fruition.

Anyway, it's August, and everybody seems to be on the same page, so why not be optimistic...