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islanders about to hire nolan and smith

torontobarfly

TRIBE Member
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CP) -- The New York Islanders are poised to make a big splash by hiring prominent NHL exiles Neil Smith and Ted Nolan, a league source told The Canadian Press on Wednesday night.

The Islanders have called a Thursday news conference where they're expected to name Smith their new general manager and Nolan their new head coach.

Both have had extended leaves from the NHL.

Smith served as GM of the New York Rangers from 1989 to 2000 and was the architect of the 1994 Stanley Cup winning team. More recently, he's been doing television work.

Nolan last coached in the league in 1997 with the Buffalo Sabres. He won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year that season but was not brought back after turning down a one-year contract from incoming GM Darcy Regier.

Nolan, an Ojibwa, coached the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this past season and recently suggested that he didn't have an NHL job because of his race.

The hirings are a bold move for a franchise that hasn't won a playoff round since 1993.

Longtime GM Mike Milbury announced in January that he would step down from the position after helping find a replacement. He's now a vice-president on the team's business side.

Milbury worked under four ownership groups and hired six coaches -- while also coaching twice himself -- during his largely unsuccessful tenure as GM.

"I think that whoever comes in here is going to have to work with me to try to build a business that has been bleeding (owner) Charles (Wang) out of a lot of money," Milbury said in January.

Brad Shaw was brought in as an interim coach when Steve Stirling was fired during the same set of mid-season moves. It's unclear what role, if any, he'll have with the team.

Shaw, who was in Ottawa, said Wednesday night he read online reports of the hirings and had received many phone calls asking about his status. But he hadn't heard any official news from the Islanders.

"You'd like to find out before the general public, but sometimes it happens pretty fast," Shaw said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "Sometimes the word leaks out.

"Enough people are talking about it that I have a lot of faith that it's going to happen. I don't really question it."

As part of their current re-structuring, the Islanders brought in Bryan Trottier as executive director of player development last week.

The 48-year-old Nolan led the Wildcats to the final of the Memorial Cup last month before losing to the Quebec Remparts.

At that time, he said he'd "likely" be back in Moncton next season and that racism in the sport was keeping him out of the NHL.

"I look different. I'm not one of them," Nolan told The Globe and Mail.

Earlier in his career, Nolan coached the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to three consecutive Memorial Cup berths, winning the Canadian national junior championship in 1993.

Smith, 51, was the Rangers' GM for 11 seasons and twice saw the team win the Presidents Trophy, including 1994 when they won their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.

He was replaced with Glen Sather in 2000.

Smith returns to the organization where he started his professional hockey career. He was drafted by the Islanders in 1974 and played in the minor leagues until being hired as a scout in 1980.

He was the director of scouting for the Detroit Red Wings from 1982 to 1989.

Smith also worked as general manager of the Detroit Red Wings' farm team in Adirondack and had Nolan as one of the players in his lineup.

He was one of two finalists for the GM job in Anaheim last year, but lost out to Brian Burke.
 
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D1Willow

TRIBE Member
Contriversial names make for great headlines, but I think NYI might be on to something. Nolan has been tagged as a malcontent in the past, having trouble fitting in with his superiors, but it's interesting to note that Smith and Nolan have a history together.
 

Zorro

TRIBE Member
Don't think it was his GM he tried to outrank.

I've got a friend in NHL circles and the hush hush story plays out like a Mogilny-Corson soap opera. If you catch my draft.
 

Aerius Zension

TRIBE Member
Zorro said:
Don't think it was his GM he tried to outrank.

I've got a friend in NHL circles and the hush hush story plays out like a Mogilny-Corson soap opera. If you catch my draft.

That Corson-Mogilny story never happened.
 
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tobywan

TRIBE Member
Seems to me like a fresh injection into a relatively stale Organization...maybe Yashin will wake up!
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
I like Nolan but I think Neil smith is a horrible GM, it's easy to look good with an open pocketbook
 
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kyfe

TRIBE Member
Sleepy Giant said:
Which explains why JFJ sucks so hard.

honestly I don't think he's so bad, he's held stady so far and hasn't made any crazy moves like mike smith, floyd smith, pat quinn

the best GM we've ever have was Cliff
 

Sleepy Giant

TRIBE Member
No argument about fletcher.

It's official.

I hope he's successful. I will be following the Islanders this season with great interest. They really don't have a lot of players under contract for next season. Smith is gonna have his work cut out for him.
 

basketballjones

TRIBE Member
been waiting for nolan to get a fuckin job back in the NHL...he only took a mediocre team, got them to play smart, responsible hockey, and not cheat, took them to the finals
why the leafs sign this fuckin guy i dont know, the leafs need to learn how to be responsible...has rick ley been fired yet?
 

torontobarfly

TRIBE Member
basketballjones said:
been waiting for nolan to get a fuckin job back in the NHL...he only took a mediocre team, got them to play smart, responsible hockey, and not cheat, took them to the finals
why the leafs sign this fuckin guy i dont know, the leafs need to learn how to be responsible...has rick ley been fired yet?

err, you forgot to mention he had the best goalie in the world between the pipes to go along with that mediocre team...that's hardly a minor detail worthy of leaving out when mentioning ted nolans success in buffalo...

i'll still take maurice over nolan as leaf coach if i had the choice...
 
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basketballjones

TRIBE Member
torontobarfly said:
err, you forgot to mention he had the best goalie in the world between the pipes to go along with that mediocre team...that's hardly a minor detail worthy of leaving out when mentioning ted nolans success in buffalo...

i'll still take maurice over nolan as leaf coach if i had the choice...
+
um..a goaile cant get you into the playoffs by himself, and he got outplayed by belfour
they had peca and that was pretty much it
it was the attention to detail that the team had in spades, they never took a shift off, teams just dont up and decide to do that, it takes a good coach to get the whole team on the same page and to stick with it
 

torontobarfly

TRIBE Member
basketballjones said:
+
um..a goaile cant get you into the playoffs by himself, and he got outplayed by belfour
they had peca and that was pretty much it
it was the attention to detail that the team had in spades, they never took a shift off, teams just dont up and decide to do that, it takes a good coach to get the whole team on the same page and to stick with it

i'm not saying he isn't a good coach...you don't get the job in the first place if you're not good...and regardless of how belfour played in the final it's no secret to anyone that hasek stood on his head the entire year for that team, not just the playoffs...i'm just saying that all this time people have been in disbelief that nolan hasn't been rehired and allot of people are of the opinion that he may be over rated...of course he's a good coach, just not the savior everyone thought he was....hasek was the savior of that team, not nolan...does nolan win coach of the year without hasek in his goal?

besides, as much as nolan likes to play the race card the bottom line is that allot of nhl execs simply don't like ted nolan the man...but that's another topic alltogether :D
 
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