Farewell, Cappy

Our country and the Islanders ushered in a new Commander in Chief this past week. I won’t talk about politics in this post, but I’ll share my take on the Isles’ coaching change.

Doug Weight is now the interim head coach and I have nothing but respect for him. Doug has always been great to me and I expect nothing to change with him in this new role.

In his first three games running the show, the team is playing with the passion Weight asked for. I wish him all the best and I hope he can lead the Isles to the playoffs.

That being said, I’d like to take some time to talk about Jack Capuano.

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 29: Jack Capuano of the New York Islanders speaks with the media prior to the game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 29, 2015 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

I’m not a coaching expert. I’m not going to dive into whether or not Capuano did all the right things for this team. Some fans on social media feel the need to chime in on coaches night-in and night-out. Demanding a change be made after every loss. You’re entitled to your opinion. So am I.

I was sad to see him go. I’m not going to apologize for saying it. What I am about to write has nothing to do with coaching and everything to do with him being a good person.

Jack was the ultimate professional when it came to dealing with our MSG Networks crew. He knew everyone by name. He always said hello on the plane and in hotel lobbies. He allowed us to travel on the team bus to skates on the road. He was always on time. He came out — win or lose — and answered all of my questions. Not once did he snub us or say he was too busy for an interview before or after games. He never took a loss out on me, even if my questions weren’t always phrased perfectly.

Jack was happy to talk with our crew off camera too. Joking on the plane after a win. After he went over hours of prep work and video, he would get antsy. Those cross-country flights were too long for him. He would pace back-and-forth on the plane, checking in with players, sharing stories with Jiggs McDonaldHowie RoseBrendan Burke and Butch Goring. He was never too important to laugh with our directors and producers. Jack was always proud of his kids and his wife, Donna, and happy to share pictures of their latest adventure or achievement.

Many of the guys on the roster have only ever had Cappy as their head coach in the NHL. Everyone I spoke with was grateful for what he did, trying to bring the best out of them on and off the ice.

So to Jack Capuano, I say thank you. Thank you for your kindness and patience. Thank you for making it fun to come to work every day. I wish you all the best in your next adventure.

The Garden of Dreams Foundation helps kids facing obstacles in the Tri-State area, including Rangers fan Taylor Ryan who is battling a rare blood disorder called Langerhans cell histiocytosis.