Hours after learning of his dismissal as head coach of the Islanders, Scott Gordon expressed his disappointment but also his appreciation for the opportunity he was given by the organization.
"Whenever you're in a situation that we were in -- not having won in 10 games -- you can very easily expect the unexpected," Gordon told Newsday when reached by telephone Monday morning.
"I enjoyed working with Garth and Charles -- they've been great to me. I'm always going to remember that as my first opportunity. As someone who had no NHL head coaching experience, I'll forever be appreciative of that."
Gordon, who took over the Islanders as head coach in the summer of 2008, said he was "disappointed the team didn't get better results on the ice." The team is currently in a 10-game winless streak and recently returned from a three-game road trip out West where they earned only one of six possible points.
"It was not from a lack of effort," said Gordon, who will remain with the Islanders as an advisor to GM Garth Snow. "At the end of the day, it didn't happen and sometimes that's the way it plays out. I don't second-guess myself in how I did or what I did."
The 47-year-old coach met with general manager Garth Snow earlier this morning and left the rink before players arrived for practice.
"I didn't want to be around while guys were trying to prepare. I didn't want to be a distraction," Gordon said. "As a team, this is a great group of kids that are good people and enjoyable to work with. There isn't a guy on the team that you wouldn't want to work with. Whoever coaches the team down the road will reap the benefits."
Gordon said the news still hasn't quite hit yet and probably will not until tomorrow.
"I haven't really thought about the disappointment yet," he said. "I've had so much disappointment in the past few games that I haven't had much of a chance to think about it. It'll probably faze me more tomorrow when I'm not there preparing for practice."