Islanders fire coach Jack Capuano, who takes fall for last-place start
Underachieving and mired in inconsistency, the last-place Islanders have fired coach Jack Capuano after six-plus seasons, the team announced Tuesday.
Islanders assistant general manager Doug Weight, who played 22 seasons as a defenseman in the NHL, will serve as interim coach.
The Islanders sit in last place in the Metropolitan Division following a 17-17-8 start to the season.
Capuano, 50, has been on the Islanders’ bench since the 2010-11 season, when he took over coaching duties on an interim basis. He was hired full-time for the 2011-12 season and led the Islanders to a playoff berth in 2012-13, their first in six years.
In sum, Capunao went 227-192-64 in New York, including consecutive 100-point seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
In his seventh season with the Islanders, he was the NHL’s fourth-longest tenured coach.
The timing of the move is a bit curious, coming amid a 5-3-2 10-game stretch and one day after the Islanders shut out the Bruins. But the Islanders had regressed substantially from a year ago, when they finished 45-27-10 and won a Stanley Cup playoff series for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
Weight’s first order of business will be to figure out how to correct the Islanders’ goaltending situation, which was allowing 2.98 goals per game, and getting more out of the team’s top players. Islanders captain John Tavares leads the team with 32 points in 42 games.