Oops, he did it again
After waiting almost 10 years for another shot at the show, controversial coach Ted Nolan was dismissed as a result of tension with Isles GM Garth Snow.
"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."...As I'm sure you recall, in 1997 Nolan lost a battle with then Sabres GM John Muckler. Dominik Hasek wasn't that hot on Nolan either. Sound familiar?
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."
Nolan may not leave the Island with the same scar on his reputation as he did in Buffalo, but his willingness to make thinly veiled comments to the press about Snow won't warm him to other GMs looking to hire a new head coach. Snow and Nolan were at odds over a youth movement. Snow wanted to play the kids. Nolan wanted to win and let the world know Snow didn't give him the players to do so.
If Nolan had the same job security as Barry Trotz in Nashville, it might have been an easier pill to swallow. But Nolan needed to win. Not to keep his job in New York - you'd have to be a masochist or an extremely inexperienced GM to want that - but to prove to the league that he belongs in the NHL. Nolan hit the unemployment line before he had a chance to redefine himself.
The Kings are currently the only other team with a coaching vacancy. They are in the midst of a youth movement themselves, but Nolan was successful in the junior ranks where youth abounds. More likely though, he'll join the ranks of Bob Hartley, John Tortella, Paul Maurice, Marc Crawford, et al who sit and wait for the inevitable firings of the 08-09 season.
Update: Greg Logan of Newsday has all the juicy tidbits here and here.