After Lou coming aboard and cleaning house, the head coach spot for the Islanders is wide open. Alain Vigneault, Stanley Cup winning coach Barry Trotz, Scott Stevens, Daryl Sutter and Dave Tippet are all names that could potentially be a match for the Islanders.
Lou has many connections within the world of hockey and knows just about every big name out there. Obviously, Lou might know Scott Stevens the best given their time in New Jersey and may seem like a good candidate for the Islanders. The only downside to him however, is that he has never held a head coaching position at the NHL level.
I believe the Islanders need a coach with many years of head coaching experience in the NHL. This team is just a few pieces away from completing a very complicated puzzle. The GM position has been filled nicely and left are a head coach, defense, goaltending and signing John Tavares. A few smart moves could really turn this organization around.
As for goaltending, the top name has been Philpp Grubauer. He played 35 games last season with a .923 save percentage and even started for the Caps during the Playoffs.
Although this wouldn’t be a bad fit, the Islanders would basically have a goalie 1A and 1B, which has proven time and time again not to work. The Islanders need a starting goalie. No two ways about it. Jonathan Bernier has boosted his stock with great starting stints with the Avs when Varlomov went down with injury, but again, he is a 1A or 1B goalie.
Need A Solid System
The head coaching job should be someone with a solid system that the whole entire team can by into. Obviously, whatever system Doug Weight had in place either didn’t work or the players didn’t believe in it. I think that Daryl Sutter would be a great fit. He has a couple of Stanley Cup rings, and is known to run a tight ship behind the bench which I think the young Islanders desperately need.
Obviously, the top runner for the job is newly Stanley Cup Champion coach Barry Trotz. Unless Lou can pull something magical, there is a pretty decent chance we see Trotz back in Washington for another year. Arthur Staple had recently said that Trotz is the Islanders top option at the moment.
Dave Tippet is a candidate who is very defensive minded which could really help the Islanders on the back end of things. It is interesting to note that although Tippet has head coach experience, he doesn’t have anything much on his resume.
Lou has said that he wanted to fill the head coach position sooner rather then later, so we will keep an eye out within the next couple of weeks to see who will lead the Islanders this year and hope to right the ship.
My prediction: Daryl Sutter is the next head coach of the Islanders.
Thank you for reading! Tune into our interview with Arthur Staple on Destination Hockey!