VANCOUVER – The Islanders added to their coaching staff on Wednesday, though it’s unclear whether that addition means there will be a corresponding subtraction.
The team announced Jim Hiller has joined Barry Trotz’s staff as an assistant coach after four seasons as a Maple Leafs assistant. He ran the power play under Mike Babcock both in Toronto and for the Red Wings. He also worked under Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello with the Maple Leafs.
The power play was Scott Gomez’s responsibility last season, Trotz’ first with the Islanders. But the Islanders’ man advantage ranked 29th in the 31-team NHL at 14.5 percent (33-for-227). The Maple Leafs, with more potent power-play personnel, including former Islanders captain John Tavares, were eighth in the league at 21.8 percent (46-for-211).
The Islanders’ press release on Hiller’s hiring noted specifically he was being “added” to Trotz’s staff and did not specify any other coaching changes.
Associate coach Lane Lambert interviewed for the Ducks’ head coaching job that went to Dallas Eakins. Lambert, who followed Trotz from the Capitals, will remain with the Islanders.
Hiller, 50, played 63 NHL games as a right wing for the Kings, Red Wings and Rangers, then had a lengthy career as a junior hockey coach in the Western Hockey League.