Monday, July 14, 2008

Ted Nolan let go on Long Island

"I understand there could be some criticism, and if there is, it can fall on me."-- Islanders GM Garth Snow playing Nostradamus for the avalanche of interest set to follow his announcement today.

Once again Ted Nolan finds himself looking for a new job and once again the team that fired him looks to be on the wrong side of the situation.

The two year uneasy arrangement between Nolan and Islanders GM Garth Snow came to a head today, as the Islanders announced that the popular coach and team were going their separate ways.

While it's a bit of surprise announcement, perhaps it shouldn't be considered such. Nolan must have immediately felt that things were going sideways when Neil Smith was let go just 40 days into his tenure as the Islanders GM, a sure sign that team dysfunction was still a going concern on Long Island. Nolan's fate was speculated upon as recently as yesterday as Long Island Newsday hinted to trouble on the Island.

More recently for Nolan last season, was the disappointment in a denied a contract extension, despite having made the Islanders a fairly respectable team in rather short order. Instead of rewarding his coach for changing the culture on the Island.

He began those changes, without benefit of a particularly strong line up and one which frequently saw free agents prefer to move on, rather than stay in what seems to be a less than enjoyable spot on the NHL merry go round.

Snow seemingly at odds with his coach, chose not to offer his coach an extension and instead now has decided to go in a new direction, beginning the search for a coach that more fits into his vision of how the team should progress. A scenario that might be making the fan base on Long Island just a little bit nervous we suspect.

That is his prerogative as a General Manager, though many might suggest that if the Islanders wanted true success it wouldn't be Nolan that was packing the moving van today.

What will be interesting to watch now is how long Nolan will have to sit on the sidelines again, before gaining another opportunity in the rather closed shop that the NHL seems to be at times.

His well documented nine year stay in pro hockey's purgatory after the Sabres let him go, served as a warning to coaches everywhere that fame can be fleeting and sometimes good people get steam rolled by events.

Of concern for hockey fans of New York however, is the indication that the Islanders are once again becoming the talk of the league for all the wrong reasons.

Today's announcement once again makes for an eyebrow raising moment for the Islanders, which seem to have no shortage of them. A team that frequently takes two steps backwards, for every baby step forward that they make.

Newsday--Ted Nolan out as Islanders coach
New York Daily News-- Ted Nolan out as Islanders coach
Canadian Press-- New York Islanders announce Ted Nolan out as their head coach
CBC Sports-- Ted Nolan out as Islanders coach

(Photo above from Newsday website)

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