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 http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2007/11/wasis-ted-nolan-being-blackballed.html 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. http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2008/05/are-isles-dicking-with-nolan.html
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. http://nyipointblank.blogspot.com/2008/07/code-ted.html
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!