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Six potential Islanders head coaching candidates

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz speaks while answering

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz speaks while answering questions from members of the media following practice in Arlington, Va., on Friday. Photo Credit: AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Now that president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello has relieved general manager Garth Snow and coach Doug Weight of their duties and named himself GM, here are some potential candidates to be the next Islanders coach:

Sheldon Keefe

The 37-year-old former NHLer, in his third season with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs’ top affiliate, is considered a hot prospect among minor-league coaches and has his team in the Calder Cup Finals. Lamoriello was the Maple Leafs’ GM the past three seasons.

John Madden

Madden, 45, won two Stanley Cups with Lamoriello’s Devils and his unselfish, scrappy play fit the Lamoriello mold very well. He’s coached the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters, the Blue Jackets’ top affiliate, the past two seasons and was previously a Florida Panthers assistant coach.

Scott Stevens

Stevens, 54, captained the Devils to three Stanley Cups and served both as a Devils assistant and tri-coach along with Lamoriello and Adam Oates in 2014-15. He was a Minnesota Wild assistant coach in 2016-17 before returning to the New Jersey area for family reasons but is still believed to be interested in coaching.

Brent Sutter

The former Islanders captain, 55, hasn’t coached in the NHL since leaving the Calgary Flames in 2012 and is currently a junior hockey GM/coach. But he coached the Devils for two seasons under Lamoriello and the Sutter brothers have always been popular on Long Island.

Barry Trotz

The Capitals, up 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final, wouldn’t really let a Cup-winning coach go, would they? But the speculation all season in Washington was this would be Trotz’s last season behind the Caps’ bench regardless of the results in order to make room for highly regarded assistant Todd Reirden and if the 55-year-old, an NHL head coach since 1988, is available, it might certainly intrigue Lamoriello.

D.J. Smith

The Maple Leafs’ highly regarded assistant coach under Mike Babcock, and Lamoriello, the past three seasons. Smith, 41, earned the most votes in an NHL Players Association poll last season asking which current assistant should be a head coach.

New York Sports