I really hate that I have been working on something after work; it gets in the way of making site updates. Either way, here is a quick, late one for you guys.
Mike Dunham has now OFFICIALLY been named the goaltending coach of the New York Islanders. Let's look at the positives in more detail.
10 Years of NHL Experience and 3 time U.S. Olympian
While one or two of our past goaltending coaches have had some NHL experience, I do not think that any of them have had Dunham's extensive resume that includes a long NHL career and Olympic play. The argument could be made that he has no coaching experience, but I feel that his time as an NHL journeyman can help develop our current and future netminders. What better way to learn the ropes then from someone who has experienced the league himself? Don't forget that we also have Snow – another grizzled veteran netminder in the front office.
Relationship to both DiPietro and Dubie
Even though Dunham had to take a seat on the sidelines at the end of last season, he was still there for both DiPietro and Dubie when they needed advice. It was Dubies first real taste of high-pressure NHL hockey, and I am sure Dunham was a calming voice. Having played with them both for the season, the relationship and bond are there for great communication. Even while he was serving as back-up last season, there were numerous times he could be seen offering advice to Rick and Dubie during the course of the game and shootouts. It is that respect that will make him a great coach.
Worst case scenario, he doesn't work out and we move on. This move will most likely become another running joke in the media, but it wouldn't be an Islanders season without a few wisecracks.
A poster over on NYIslandersCountry also points out that this isn't the first time a goalie has gone from player – to coach. See this thread: http://z11.invisionfree.com/IslanderCountry/index.php?showtopic=7757
Hopefully, Dunham can help DiPietro and Dubie mature into top flight goaltenders. With a little bit of the right guidance, there shouldn't be all that much work to do.