During Monday’s season ticket holder conference call, GM George McPhee sounded like a man who’s impatiently waiting for late June.
We’ll be ready for the expansion draft and the entry draft. In fact I think we’re ready now.. -George McPhee, General Manager
If you missed it or aren’t quite rich enough to have fancy pants season tickets, check out the SinBin.vegas Twitter timeline as Ken live-tweeted out the full conference call. Without giving too much away, McPhee gave a few notes of interest, especially, an answer to a coaching question. We still stand by Jack Capuano as the front-runner and his comment leads us again to the former Islanders coach.
Let’s get to the hidden information McPhee might’ve tried to slip by us. On a question about finding the Golden Knights first head coach. The GM stated he wants a coach that knows the present-day players, rules and styles. Most importantly, here’s the big clue, he also would like to hire someone he knows.
We want someone who is very current on the game, who’s progressive. I’ve had the opportunity to work with lots of coaches in the NHL. Had great experiences in the world championships working with several NHL coaches. So, we know who’s out there. We decided way back in August, that we were going to take our time and interview along the way. – GM George McPhee
McPhee said it, he’s worked with a lot of NHL coaches. Here’s the list:
|Coach||When With McPhee||Currently With||Tenure||Record|
|Ron Wilson||WSH Head Coach (1997-2002)||N/A||410 Games||192-159-51|
|Bruce Cassidy||WSH Head Coach (2002-2004)||Boston (Interim)||110 Games||47-47-9|
|Randy Carlyle||WSH Assistant Coach (2002-2004)||Anaheim (HC)||164 Games||64-75-18|
|Glen Hanlon||WSH Head Coach (2003-2008)||GM Vancouver Giants (WHL)||239 Games||79-122-9|
|Bruce Boudreau||WSH Head Coach (2008-2012)||Minnesota (HC)||329 Games||208-104-40|
|Jack Capuano||NYI Head Coach (2015) *Only Season McPhee w/New York||N/A||82 Games||45-27-10|
|Doug Weight||Sr. Advisor to GM and Isles Asst. Coach (2015)||New York Islanders (Interim)||29 Games||16-9-4|
|Bill Peters||IIHF Team Canada Head Coach (2014-Pres)||Carolina (HC)||164 Games||65-72-27|
|Dave Cameron||IIHF Team Canada Assistant Coach (2014-2016)||Calgary (Asst)||137 Games||70-50-17|
|Mike Yeo||IIHF Team Canada Assistant Coach||St. Louis (HC)||370 Games||187-139-44|
As you can see, McPhee has worked with plenty of NHL head coaches past and present. Cassidy, Carlyle, Boudreau, Weight, Peters and Yeo are all current NHL head coaches. Capuano was fired earlier this season, and Cameron was let go after last season. Hanlon and Wilson haven’t been NHL head coaches in some time so it’s safe to eliminate them. Carlyle, Boudreau and Yeo are all safely employed. Which leaves Capuano, Cassidy, Weight, Peters and Cameron.
Now let’s break down their qualifications to coach the Golden Knights. All five coaches know and worked with McPhee at some time. Capuano, Cassidy, Peters and Cameron are in their fifties, while Weight is 46. The prime ages for an NHL head coach. Age is key, because younger coaches can connect with the modern day hockey player.
Speaking of modern, the head coach must be able to adjust with today’s tempo, style and speed of today’s game. Capuano adjusted well with a below average roster during his NY tenure making the playoffs three out of six full seasons. He coached in the toughest division and built a style his team could succeed against Pittsburgh, New York and Washington. Plus his players liked playing hard for him. He was well liked among the core.
Obviously guys we haven’t been playing good as a group and it’s on us. Its hard to see someone lose their position like that. Especially a great guy. You want find a guy saying anything bad about Cap. That’s for sure. – Travis Harmonic, Islanders Defensman
At this point there is no reason to write anymore about Capuano. You already know our thoughts on him as the Golden Knights first coach.
There’s a possibility that Weight and Cassidy get dismissed as well, which would make both available at seasons end. Word out of Islander camp, is they will retain Weight. With Cassidy, it’s really hard to predict what the Bruins will do if they don’t make the postseason. If the Interim Head Coach is let go in Boston I’m sure McPhee will do his due diligence. However, Cassidy was fired by McPhee after only 107 games. That’s a not a long tenure. It must’ve been enough of a sample size though for McPhee who fired Cassidy after just 25 games in his second season as head coach. The current Bruins coach went 8-16-1 to start his second season under McPhee. Does that hurt his chances here in Las Vegas? Possibly, but first Cassidy has to worry about getting his team into the playoffs before DM’ing McPhee.
If McPhee gave a coaching nugget away or not, some above coaches fit the criteria Vegas wants in a coach. The age, pro experience, league awareness and past relationship. The Creator has said it many times, he wants a coach that will work well with him and the organization. He also wants a coach to be with the organization for a long time. Capuano, Weight and Cassidy are all the perfect age for a tenure that long. If the two Interim coaches aren’t extended then expect to hear a lot of their names in April. Otherwise, expect Cappy from Maine to lead the bench next season at the T-Mobile arena.