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BREAKING: Islanders let Scott Gordon go as head coach
As first reported by Newsday, Scott Gordon has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the New York Islanders.
Gordon will remain on staff in an advisory role to general manager Garth Snow; he'll help scout and assist in other hockey operations areas.
Bridgeport head coach Jack Capuano will take over as interim head coach. Assistant coaches Dean Chynoweth and Scott Allen will remain on staff in their current capacities. Bridgeport assistant coach Pat Bingham will assume head coaching duties for the team's AHL affiliate in Capuano's absence.
Islanders are on the ice at noon; Snow met with players to inform them of the decision around 10:30 this morning. According to a source, the team was shocked.
"You've got to go with your gut and my gut told me we need a change," Snow told Newsday. "Time will tell if that was the right decision."
The news of Gordon's dismissal as head coach comes on the heels of a ten-game losing streak.
"No one likes to lose 10 games in a row and the fact is, we have," Snow said. "Something needed to change."
The team returned yesterday from a three-game trip out West where they dropped three straight (although they earned a point in overtime against San Jose). Most recently, the team lost 5-1 to LA on Saturday night, a game in which they came out flat and struggled to compete against the Western Conference-leading Kings.
"That factors in, absolutely," Snow said. "There were some games [recently] that we probably deserved to win that we didn't. It wasn't a decision that came easy but at the end of the day, we lost ten in a row and something had to give."
The team also recently completed a brutal stretch of 12 of 15 games on the road. The Islanders play the next 5 of 6 games at home.
Capuano, who will make his head coaching debut Wednesday against Tampa at Nassau Coliseum, has a 133-100-8-14 as head coach of the Sound Tigers. The 44-year-old Cranston, Rhode Island native has been with the organization since the 2005-06 season, when he was hired as an assistant coach for the Islanders from the ECHL.
"For me, with Jack there is a certain comfort in knowing that he's familiar with the head-coaching day-to-day responsibilities and decisions," Snow said. "Also knowing that the has the familiarity with this team whether it be from training camp or players playing for him in Bridgeport, all those were ingredients that factored into the decision."
Updates on this story can be found at newsday.com/islanders.