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Islanders hire John Gruden as assistant coach on Barry Trotz’s staff

Then-Flint Firebirds head coach John Gruden addresses the

Then-Flint Firebirds head coach John Gruden addresses the media after a team workout on Nov. 11, 2015, in Flint, Mich. Credit: AP / Carlos Osorio

The Islanders continued to fill out Barry Trotz’s coaching staff on Wednesday as John Gruden was named an assistant.

That’s John — not the NFL’s Jon — Gruden.

It’s the first NHL coaching job for Gruden, 48, who spent the past two seasons as a junior hockey head coach for Hamilton, including leading the Bulldogs to the Ontario Hockey League championship last season. Gruden also spent one season as the bench boss for Flint (OHL).

Gruden, a defenseman, did play 92 NHL games over six seasons for the Bruins, Senators and Capitals. The Virginia, Minnesota, native has also served in numerous coaching roles for USA Hockey.

Former Islanders assistant coach Kelly Buchberger was announced on Monday as the new head coach of the Tri-City Americans (Western Hockey League). That leaves just assistant coach Scott Gomez and goalie coach Fred Brathwaite remaining from former coach Doug Weight’s staff.

Lane Lambert, who also worked with Trotz as the Capitals won the Stanley Cup last season, has already been announced as the new associate coach.


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