Jack Capuano has officially been named the head coach of the New York Islanders today, after the team decided to remove the interim tag from his title.
He was brought in to replace the fired Scott Gordon on November 15th, 2010 in the midst of a terrible stretch that saw the Islanders as losers in 20 of 21 games, including 14 losses in a row.
Since then, Capuano finished the season 26-29-10, three games under .500. However, the Islanders were one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference after December 15th.
One of the things that has made Capuano successful has been establishing a very simple system of play that allows the players to be creative and use their hockey instincts to the best of their abilities.
According to Katie Strang of Newsday, both assistant coaches Scott Allen and Dean Chynoweth are expected to return next season.
It is still unclear what current captain Doug Weight will do next season. It has been reported by Strang that he is leaning towards retirement but is still unsure about it. If he does retire, he may lean towards coaching in some form (he was on the Islanders bench for the last few games of the season), or he may choose to go in to some front office role. This is all if he decides to remain with the Islanders in any capacity after retiring. A much clearer understanding of Weight's situation should arise in the coming weeks.
The draft lottery is tonight at 8 PM Eastern time on Versus/TSN, and the Islanders once again are a lottery team with the chance at the first pick.
The Islanders have a 10.7% chance of winning the lottery, and moving up from the fourth pick in the draft to the first pick.
The Islanders also have the possibility of falling down one spot to fifth in the draft if the Ottowa Senators win the lottery.