Over the past several months, there have been rumblings that Garth Snow and Ted Nolan were not seeing eye to eye on several things regarding the team. Greg Logan has posted numerous articles and his most recent spoke of Nolan having no input during the draft. Today, the team made it official by announcing that Ted Nolan will not be returning for the 2008/2009 season.
From what we have been told, it was a “mutual agreement”.
Per the Islanders Release:
New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow announced today that Ted Nolan will not return next season as the team’s head coach. Nolan had one season remaining on his contract.
“Ted has helped us achieve some success over the last two seasons, however it has become clear that we have philosophical differences and have decided together to part ways,” said Snow. “Since last season and continuing into the summer, I have realized we do not share the same philosophies. I would like to thank Ted for his two years with the team and wish him the best.
“I have a list of several qualified candidates. After a thorough process, we will hire the very best coach to lead the Islanders on the ice.”
Added Nolan: “While I am disappointed I will not be coaching the Islanders next season, there have been philosophical differences and we’ve agreed it’s a good time for me to move on. I want to thank the Islanders organization for giving me a chance to coach in the NHL again. I have tremendous respect for what the team is trying to do and I wish them well.”
With all the things the Islanders have gone through, I would have loved to see Nolan finish out his contract. We don’t know exactly how bad things were between the team and the coach – but when he would throw comments out there about “Playing with what you’ve got” and “Do the best you can” you know things aren’t perfect. Nolan also had a strong reluctance to play youth last season when it was apparent the Isles were out of contention and would rarely change the style of play from his defensive system – so this move may actually allow the Islanders to implement a style of play more successful to the personnel that they have available.
This organization is perceived badly enough around the league, this situation won’t help – although I can only hope that its somewhat acceptable if your coach and GM do not see eye-to-eye. There are several viable coaching choices that have become available (as they do each season) – the next part of this adventure is picking someone who will accept a rebuild and work out all the kinks when it comes to bringing the kids along.
Logan asked Snow what took him so long in making his decision, and had this to say in today’s Newsday article:
“That’s a fair question. This has been a difficult decision for both Ted and myself, especially for me because of Charles Wang’s desire to give Ted the opportunity to coach in the NHL and because of his loyalty to those he hires.
“I understand there could be some criticism, and if there is, it can fall on me. What I can tell you is there was a process. I spoke with Ted regularly following the season and when the draft and free agency ended. Our strong belief about our philosophical differences led me to believe, and Ted as well, that we needed to part ways. I know this decision will be best for not only the team and our fans, but for Ted as well.”
Three choices that Greg Logan speaks of today in Newsday are Paul Maurice, John Tortorella and Bob Hartley. Logan goes on to talk about a previous connection with Snow and Hartley and says this may be a relationship to watch. Logan also writes that executive director of player development Bryan Trottier, Commentator Butch Goring or Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano are not in the running to take over the head coach position.