Monday, July 14, 2008

Nolan Tossed Off Island!

1) In yet another bizzaro-world move by the kings of Bizzaro moves, the NY Islanders today fired their head coach Ted Nolan. For those of you who have not been keeping track with the Islanders head coach's trials and tribulations we invite you to read our blog post where we ask if Ted is being blackballed. We additionally invite our readers to to look at the post we did just 2 short months ago where we predicted this very occurrence.

2) We did however believe that the Isles would at least retain Nolan into the season then fire him; using him as the teams scape goat. It seems that Ted was not allowing the team to play him for the fool. The honest Nolan would tell reporters exactly how he felt and this irritated maverick(euphemism for rich nut job) owner Charles Wang. Wang thought Nolan owed him big time for resurrecting his career. Feeling that without the Isles, Nolan would still be in the QMJHL or worse yet, back on the reservation coaching kids. Nolan would be a stand up guy and tell reporters or anyone who would listen how he felt about the direction the team was taking.(Diplomatically of course). He must have known what Wang/Snow had in store for him and refused to play along. (Also we do NOT believe this move was racially based or related to Ted's past issues). In a choice between wang and Nolan we'd choose Nolan. Wang in the past has been shown to be bush-league!

3) However the very proud Nolan feels he has earned every penny he has made from the Isles and owed them nothing but living up to his part of his 3 year contract.(We agree!) The writing was on the wall that Nolan would soon be gone when the Isles traded his good friend Chris Simon for almost nothing at the trade deadline. We're told Nolan called Snow and angrily told him that he was pissed that they isles didn't consult with him first. Things got worse from there and even former Isles PR man Chris Botta recently weighed in on the Snow-Nolan issue on his blog.

4) So where do both parties go from here?

  • The Isles are now without a coach. Many chastised the Kings for waiting until June to fire Crawford and then name a new coach. The Isles felt they had to out do the Kings in idiocy by waiting 3 full months to decide to replace Nolan. Why the wait? Only Wang and Snow know for sure and they will only be spinning drivel blaming Nolan that he wasn't going to be on board with the new youth movement, etc. We have a feeling Nolan would be 'on board' if he was given assurances of being with the team beyond this season (a contract extension was a must!) Given that his tenure was, well tenuous, we can't blame Nolan for fearing that his next/last season with the Isles would be a bottom finish and thus wasn't keen on having such an inexperienced lineup to work with.

  • Meanwhile we don't believe the hype of these 'kids'. Other than Okposo none impress us as being a future star player in the league. We saw a bottom 5 finish this season for the Isles, and this move only cements this viewpoint. They rid themselves of one of their better assets in Nolan. The team will probably hire a very desperate/loyal AHL coach that they will sell to the fans as the perfect candidate to 'coach the kids'. Or hire former super star Brian Trottier in a clear PR move to save face. Who could boo a living legend like Trotts?

  • For Nolan its definitely too late to find work as a head coach, but he may find work as a teams' asst if he chooses, or wait until the inevitable first firing and wait for the phone to ring. If another team/GM is smart they will have Nolan's number on speed dial. Nolan is a legit/good NHL coach who deserved/deserves better. The Isles do not!


Sauce said...

You guys crack me up. The premise of your last posting about Nolan was that Wang/Snow really have NO plan in place to develop through youth, the real plan is just to save salary dollars, and that they planned on usung Nolan as a scape-goat.

Do you guys really believe that drivel?

As I stated clearly in my comments to that post, the re-signing of Nolan on the merits of his coaching performance was far from the slam-dunk you made it out to be. And while I said at that time that I felt he needed to ultimately be re-signed, much has happened since that day in early May that you guys have conveniently left out.

Nolan has been very loose with his lips to the press about his disagreements with Snow - not an optimum situation to have on a team where youth need to hear a consistent message. It's also come to light that leaders in the clubhouse lost faith in Nolan's approach during the season. Goals against were way up until Nolan finally backed down from playing a 1-3-1 zone trap that clearly wasn't working with the personnel at that time. And of course, Nolan was deadset on not giving the younger players PP time, despite the 29th rank of the PP with only vets given the opportunity.

There's more to the story, guys. I realize the additional details don't fit your "hypothesis", but they're details nonetheless.

Antzmarching said...

Typical Islanders! Why is anyone surprised by these erratic moves? 15th in the East next season... Btw, when will Keith Tkachuk and Derian Hatcher be available? Guys like that make Wang excited...


1) Sauce: Actually your apparent support for the Wang move is not shared by the majority of Isles fans we have heard from/read since the move was made. here is a sampling we have read in just the first few hours:
a) From "WANG IS A JOKE!....To get rid of the only legitimate thing this team had is just a nightmare at best.
b) From"Who, besides me, would rather have Nolan behind the bench instead of
Snow behind the scenes??? This is just maddening! I see a very long
season in the near future...
c) "Its going to be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG season.....but its planned
that way...Snow is "Trading Down" in coaches
d) "A professional coach vs a GM in training. The coach who
gave us some respect Vs someone who was siting home just a little short time ago. A coach who has worked and won with kids vs someone who kisses butt and is a laugh ting stock around the league."
e) " Nolan was one of, if not the only, thing that gave this team any
credibility. Its a bad move by Wang.."
f) : "Who knew that we'd look back upon the Milbury-Milstein era as the good old days?
2) We could go through the alphabet afew times but you get the drift. Its about 90-10 against this move. BUT we agree with you that it was inevitable BUT we disagree on why. Nolan clearly did fine with 'kids' when he won in the 'Q'. What he didn't like was being left to hang in the breeze contractually and take the hits as the team alters course and goes with cheap young kids.
3) As we are NEITHER Islander fans NOR Islander haters we feel we can give an unbiased opinion on this matter. Yours Sauce is clouded by the orange and blue glasses you wear. We do give all Islander die hard fans big credit for standing by/with their team. As one of the worst organizations in team sports today, it can't be easy to be a fan of the Islanders. As jmol2112 put it so well: Who thought the Milbury era would be looked upon as the good old days?"
4) Antz: We can't say we were surprised by the move. Probably by the timing of it, but certainly our May post showed we were ahead of the curve on Wang/Snow;s intentions, As we wrote, its a shame. We feel badly for Nolan and as much if not more for all the loyal fans out there who again will feel the brunt of the derision/laughter from the other 29 teams.

Sauce said...

Hey fellows. Sorry to interrupt you while you’re so busy patting yourself(ves) on the back , but you were in company with about 99% of the hockey-watching public who saw the handwriting on the wall. Your only unique claim to fame was your wild hypothesis that Nolan was gonna be used as a scape-goat so the Isles could tank the season with kids and a low payroll. As I’ve already said, you must’ve have been kidding.
Nolan is indeed being supported by the vast majority of Islander faithful. Newsday’s poll has it roughly 80-20, rather than the 90-10 you claim, but the result is essentially the same. And contrary to your assumption of where stand on the issue, I would’ve preferred if Nolan could’ve continued as coach. But the fact remains that he can’t. I mean literally he can’t. If he stays, do you really expect Snow to stand by while Nolan continues to coach contrary to the team’s plan of developing youth? Oh, that’s right. You assume since Nolan did well in the Q (where ALL the talent is young) that means he actually does favor youth in the NHL despite his clear record of being obstinate in refusing to give any of his young player a shred of time on their 29th ranked PP.
C’mon. Anyone with any real knowledge of this team during the past year and even a small amount of practical wisdom knows that Nolan dug his own grave in the past month and that Snow was absolutely forced to make this move.


1) Sauce: the 90-10 we 'claim' was based upon the many e-mails we read following the first few hours after the announcement. We don't dispute the figures from the poll in your local paper
2) We maintain as we wrote on our blog yesterday that Nolan WAS going to be 'used' as a scape goat next season but he knew it and didn't play along so Wang had no choice but to cut his losses now.
3)Yes, in light of all things it was the right move, but one that should have been made 3 months ago! We also maintain that Nolan would have been on board with this new (3rd direction in 3 years) approach IF he was given assurances (a contract extension) of his future. You don't allow a man you supposedly so highly respect to twist in the wind. As one NHL exec told us:" "I can't blame Nolan, because I've never heard of a coach in the NHL who wanted to play with young guys, Coaches in the NHL are judged by wins and losses. You really expect a guy with one year left on his contract to be happy losing while developing players for his successor?"
4) Its bush league, but par for the Wang era. As we've written before he's become Steinbrenner (a hands on owner with little knowledge of the sport), but without the success. Perhaps they also waited until now to fire Nolan as that would have hurt season ticket renewals? Even the most ardent Islander fans we've talked to in the past day are not confident in their team.

Trotz19 said...

As a long time Islander fan I will choose to try to look ahead and not care about what caused the problems with Nolan and Snow. Where do we go from here? As much as I obviously like Trottier, I don't think he'd be a good choice to coach this team. I know you won't like it faux but probably a guy from the minors would be best.


1) Trotts: Probably best to look ahead, but the folks(Wang) who are responsible for the current state of the franchise are still in charge. We want to be clear, we are NOT Islander bashers. We hate to see any franchise run like this, but we call them as we see em. You guys have to be loyal to go through the crap that's been thrown at you the past 15 or so years!
2) As for new coach choices, there are plenty of former coaches available, but we can't see Wang bringing in a strong personality guy like Tortorella or Hartley. For that matter would those guys even want to come to what the Island has become? Are they desperate like Nolan was, to get back into the NHL? 8 coaches in 10 years is not good, especially when the team hasn't won a playoff series in a decade and a half.
3) We could see a minor league promotion, much like the capitals did with the reigning Adams winner Bruce Boudreau. The difference is that the Isles don't have a likely Hart candidate in their lineup

Sauce said...

So let me see if I've got this straight.

Snow/Wang decided to pass on signing the majority of the team's UFA's, sign an aged center as a mentor, and publically stated that the team will fully utilize a large number of largely untested children to fill the rest of the slots... AND at the same time they planned on blaming what likely will be a losing record on a coach that has a well established reputation for getting the most out of his players.

You guys really need to do a better job thinking this stuff through. Not even Milbury would be stupid enough to think anyone would buy into such foolishness. LOL.


1) Sauce: The team's lost UFA's were by and large similar to the 'scraps' that they picked up this year. No big UFA losses.
2) A majority of islander fans we've talked to agree the team as assembled will not do well this next season. Few thought they'd do as well as they did the past 2 years. A testament to Nolan we'd say.
3) So how do they repay him? By hanging him out to dry, or at least that was their intention. To his credit, Nolan didn't play along and Wang was forced to fire him. Had Wang given him the extension he earned, then we're sure Nolan would have been fine with the prospect of having a losing season or two.

NYIsles1/IslesTigers said...

Faux Rumors,

You cannot give us fan opinion based on misinformation to tell us the Islanders made a bad decision or will be a terrible club.

Nolan was a coach with a contract for next season and seemingly violated every code of a professional code according to Chris Botta and seemed to look for trouble and not be part of a team.

Thanks to Charles Wang this man returned to the NHL at all. For that effort Mr Wang now has to pay him 600k and a new coach because he wanted the Milbury plan of not working in more than ready prospects.

Garth Snow btw at this time was not given a contract extension, so you think Wang should have extended his coach before his gm?

Isn't that the kind of move Wang would be criticized for?


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