Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gordon hired as new Isles coach

OK, so he's a former Eagle. I can deal with that. The bottom line is that Scott Gordon is a solid choice to lead the New York Islanders as their new head coach.

The AHL Coach of the Year was hired Tuesday night by Isles general manager Garth Snow, getting the nod over more experienced NHL coaches like Paul Maurice, Bob Hartley, Joel Quenneville and John Tortorella, as well as Mike Sullivan, who coached Gordon's old team, the Providence Bruins, as well as the Boston Bruins.

It's clear that the Islanders were looking for a coach who could help develop the growing number of young players on their roster, and there are a bunch. Gordon seems eminently qualified to do so.

Providence was 55-18-3 last season under Gordon, who had a record of 221-141-20-27 as the Providence head coach. He was an assistant with Providence for three seasons prior to taking over the squad.

Gordon was a goaltender at Boston College and led the Eagles to the Frozen Four in 1985. His NHL goaltending career can best be described as nondescript, but he soon turned to coaching and has done extremely well in the AHL and ECHL. Whether that will translate into success at the highest level remains to be seen, but it looks like Snow -- who first met Gordon in the Quebec Nordiques camp in 1987 -- got his man.

Besides developing young players, Gordon may also bring some excitement to Nassau Coliseum with his coaching style. Gordon's teams have been some of the top-scoring teams in the AHL, and goal scoring has been an Islanders weakness. If Gordon can get Kyle Okposo, Jeff Tambellini, Blake Comeau, Sean Bergenheim and Frans Neilsen to start lighting the lamp with regularity, then the Coliseum could be a happening place to be in 2008-09.

In any event, the future begins now. Welcome, Scott Gordon.