The new Islanders boss waited a mere two weeks before ousting the club’s general manager and head coach.
Guessing on the replacements begins now with Barry Trotz a possibility if — as rumored — his contract is not re-upped, if the Caps win or lose the Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, Alain Vigneault — known and respected in this community and elsewhere — currently is looking for work.
As is his custom, Lamoriello’s thoughts on his future high command will be hermetically sealed.
Clearly, the double-ouster indicates that Lou is not a slave to sentimentality since he and Garth had been pals for years.
With Snow gone, expect Lamoriello to do what he did when becoming New Jersey Devils boss in April 1987, simply add the general manager’s label on his office door.
Lou will have a long list of potential candidates to replace Weight. Among potential candidates worthy of consideration include ex-Devils defenseman and assistant coach Scott Stevens.
A Lamoriello favorite as a player, Stevens impressed most recently with the Minnesota Wild.
Recently released as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Rick Bowness was the Islanders head coach over two seasons — 1996-97 and 1997-98.
Another oft-mentioned potential coach is Sheldon Keefe, currently leading the AHL Toronto Marlies in the Calder Cup Final against the Texas Stars. The series is tied at one win apiece.
Winner of a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009, Dan Bylsma most recently coached the Buffalo Sabres. Bylsma was canned after the 2016-17 season.
But the biggest candidates follow the trend Lamoriello has shown since he tabbed Jim Schoenfeld to replace Doug Carpenter as the Devils head coach during the 1987-88 season – tough, brash and no-nonsense. Those who fall under this design include Trotz — on the assumption that he may yet be available — and two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Los Angeles Kings, Darryl Sutter.
Fan reaction was immediate and enthusiastic in Islanders country.
Noel Fogelman of Trumbull, Connecticut: “It’s been a dozen years that the organization has spun its wheels. With Lou, it is shaking the organization; and that’s a good thing.”
Melissa Korck of Manhattan: “I’m pleased with the change because there’s been a cloud of apathy hanging over them for years. Each season brings hope but then it turns into hopelessness. And there’s no accountability. Vegas has shown it doesn’t take 12 years to turn a team into a contender.”
Matt Heller of Syosset, Long Island: “It’s smart to create a clean slate; especially with Lamoriello’s successful history. He has a chance to build a team and staff with an opportunity for success in the future.”
Unquestionably, Lou will require an assistant in the mold of a Mark Hunter who — although still under contract — recently exited the Toronto Maple Leafs as assistant general manager.
Although Hunter is contractually unavailable now, he will be later in the summer. Based on the Mark-Lou success in Toronto it’s conceivable that Hunter could move to the Islanders later in the offseason.
The volcanic eruptions emanating from the Islanders general staff reverberated through Rangerstown.
“As if the Metropolitan Division isn’t difficult enough,” Rangers fan Gabbi Riggi of Edison, New Jersey, “Lou opted to raze the neighbors across the East River. Is this good or bad for the Rangers? No, they have to focus on themselves.
“Now the competition got stiffer for the Blueshirts.”
This from Jackie Spiegel from Brooklyn: “As a Rangers fan, I feel that the hiring of Lou was already creating a bit of worry for us. We all know what he brings to the table.
“The change of coach and general manager likely will spark the team. We know how he built champion teams in New Jersey.”
Malkin: “We are committed to giving Lou every resource and the full support of the entire organization as we pursue our program to compete at the highest level.”
The surprise element involving the Snow-Weight departures is rooted in the postseason press conference on April 9, hosted by co-owner Jon Ledecky.
At that time, both Snow and Weight indicated that they expected to return as general manager and coach, respectively.
Newsday’s Andrew Gross noted: “When asked if he will be coming back for his thirteenth season on the job, Snow told Newsday, ‘As far as I know.'”
During the conference, Weight waxed enthusiastic about the future.
“We have a great nucleus,” he asserted. “I’m going to be better as a coach.”
However, Ledecky asserted otherwise. To wit: “As an organization, we will be evaluating all aspects of our hockey operations. Then we will make decisions on what is best for the future or our club.”
One of those decisions was the Lamoriello hire which — as we now know — deleted Snow and Weight from their jobs as general manager and coach!
Editor’s Note: This story will be updated with more from The Maven as the story develops.