Islanders Blog: Getting To Know Jack

By Nick Colombo
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So far, the Islanders firing of Scott Gordon is following the familiar pattern of your standard breakup. It starts with that awkward meeting where both sides decide things just aren’t working out. Then there’s that weird period of time where you’re technically broken up but still hanging out, kind of like how the Islanders plan to keep Gordon around as an advisor. Then you have the all important rebound relationship. It’s not destined to last, but hey you’re just looking for a change of pace and a girl you can have a little fun with. For the Islanders, that girl is Jack Capuano.

So who is this interim coach with the bizarre haircut in his official team photo? Honestly, I didn’t know much about Jack before yesterday. The fact that I actually have a life keeps me from watching too many Bridgeport Sound Tiger games. However, I contacted some people in Bridgeport who do know Jack, and I was able to get an impression of the Isles interim coach.

Justin Bourne, who played under Jack and is now a hockey blogger for USA Today, writes that Jack Capuano is a player’s coach who treats his main guys well. Justin makes it clear, Jack is a great guy to play for, but he lacks in the X’s and O’s department. My sources tend to agree.

To me this is the biggest problem with Jack. You’re asking a guy who isn’t an X’s and O’s guy to fix a highly complicated system on an elite level. However, my sources in Bridgeport tell me that Jack ran Scott Gordon’s system effectively in the AHL and was able to make adjustments when teams were exploiting it. Whether or not he can do this in the NHL will determine his success or failure. The Islanders don’t suffer from a lack of motivation. They suffer from a lack of production. If Jack can fix or simplify the system to create more production, then maybe, just maybe, the relevance of this season can be saved.

Yet, the bigger problem for the Islanders isn’t the present but the future. At the end of the season they will need a new head coach, and that presents two huge problems. First, they have to actually find a good coach to come here. With the Islanders reputation and monetary woes they’re going to have a tough time attracting someone with a proven NHL track record. If they can’t, they’ll again be stuck with another up and comer who is more likely to falter. Second, once they find a new coach that person will likely implement an entirely new system. This means more confusion for the Isles young players and another wasted year of learning something new.

After 10 straight losses, I understand why the Islanders fired Scott Gordon. However, don’t fool yourselves Islanders fans. There is nothing positive about this move. This is a tremendous set back to the Islanders rebuilding plan and their organization.

pixy Islanders Blog: Getting To Know Jack
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  • Jon W.

    Mr. Columbo,

    Someone has to inform that Mike Francesa of three things:

    1. Charles Wang has indeed tried to transition from CA to real estate, as he bought and tried to use 400+ of Old Plainview for a mixed-use project (The Old Plainview Project), which was shot doen by the community in addition to the Lighthouse Project (another 77 acres), and his real estate in Oyster Bay which he manages for his company Renissance Realty/Properties (the website can be found under islandproperties llc). Recently, he sold the Old Plainview land to the Beechwood group and we know how the Lighthouse is doing. That is well over 500 acres of prime real estate in Nassau County he would have used for development had he succeeded in doing so. This is a guy who is not in real estate?! Really?!

    2. Wang made a deal with Tom Suozzi right before Suozzi was booted out. Wang signed a “sub-lease” with the county that gives him revenue from parking, concessions, and ticket sales FROM ALL EVENTS AT THE COLISEUM. This deal is not just commensurate with other lease agreements in the NHL, but is better than many. Wang can no longer cry poor.

    3. The Islanders are in year 3 of their rebuild, barely above the cap floor, and yet have 18 expiring contracts.

    These facts should not be tolerated, yet Mr. Francesa apparently does not know them. I do not believe Mr. Wang would get such Pollyannaish treatment from the mainstream press, if these facts were known.

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