The Islanders have begun their search for a new coach, and the list of candidates is long and ridiculous.
The current front-runner is former Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice, who will interview for the job today.
The list of confirmed Islanders coaching candidates now numbers seven. Besides Maurice, the list includes former Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella and his assistant, Mike Sullivan, both of whom have received permission from the Lightning to interview. Snow still is waiting for approval to interview former Atlanta coach Bob Hartley and current Providence Bruins coach Scott Gordon in Boston’s organization.
Former Colorado coach Joel Quenneville is a free agent who requires no approval from his former team. Snow said he also told current Islanders assistant Gerard Gallant, who previously coached Columbus, that he will have a chance to interview for the top job sometime in the next two weeks.
What a terrible idea. If Ted Nolan was fired because he wanted more veterans and free agents brought in, what will Paul Maurice bring to the organization? At least two of the coaches on the schedule to be interviewed (Tortorella and Gordon) are better than Maurice from the giddy-up, and you might be able to make an argument for Sullivan as well.
Snow said that he’d “be crazy not to” interview all these people, but he’d be crazy to hire half these guys too. Frankly, Tortorella is the clear choice here. He can win (see: 2004) and he has the type of attitude that would attract the New York media’s attention away from the Rangers even if the Islanders suck.
But knowing Garth Snow, I’m surprised DiPietro isn’t interviewing for a Reg Dunlop-type “player-coach” position.