Jack Capuano Fired by Islanders: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2017

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 15: Head coach Jack Capuano of the New York Islanders looks on as the officials hand out penalties after a fight against the Florida Panthers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the NHL 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the BB&T Center on April 15, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Islanders 3-1. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The New York Islanders announced they relieved Jack Capuano of his head coaching duties on Tuesday. 

Assistant general manager Doug Weight will serve as the team's interim head coach. 

Capuano was the head coach of the Islanders since the 2010-11 season and ranks second on the franchise's all-time wins list with 227. But a 17-17-8 start to this season has the team with just 42 points, third-worst in the NHL

However, the team was coming off a 4-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Monday afternoon. 

This was an Islanders team that had been mired in mediocrity since the mid-1990s. Before Capuano took over as head coach, the team had made the postseason just four times since the 1994-95 season. 

After he took over for Scott Gordon during the 2010-11 season, Capuano navigated a team with a young, budding star in John Tavares to two playoff-less years. 

But during the strike-shortened 2012-13 season, the Islanders managed to make the postseason for the first time since 2007 before falling short to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. 

In 2014-15, Capuano guided the Islanders to a 47-28-7 record with 101 points. It was the franchise's best season since 1983-84, when it lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final to snap a four-year championship streak that is still considered one of the greatest dynasties in all of hockey. 

Once again, though, the Islanders were bounced in the first round by the Washington Capitals during the final year at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. 

Upon the organization's move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last year, Capuano once again coached the team to the playoffs, where it managed to pull out a six-game victory over the Florida Panthers in the first round. 

It was the first time the team had won a playoff series since the 1992-93 season. 

A tumultuous offseason saw the Islanders transfer to new ownership while losing some of their key veterans in Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen to free agency. The Islanders have struggled mightily in 2016-17 with little support for Tavares. 

New additions Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera were expected to fill the void, but it's been an uneasy transition, as the two have combined for just 28 points. 

Tavares alone has 16 goals and 16 assists for 32 points.

The writing seemed to have been on the wall during the team's 7-4 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night. According to Newsday's Arthur Staple, one of the team's new owners, Jon Ledecky, was with the team and looked "decidedly unhappy" with the product on the ice.

Weight, who served as an assistant under Capuano and ran the team's power play, will now be tasked with trying to save the Islanders' season. 

Entering Tuesday night, New York is still just seven points behind the Hurricanes for the eighth and final spot in the East despite having the conference's worst record. 


Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com.