Islanders hire Scott Gordon as head coach7:45 PM Tue, Aug 12, 2008 | Permalink
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NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders hired Scott Gordon, the AHL coach of the year with the Providence Bruins, on Tuesday night to replace dismissed head coach Ted Nolan.
The hiring was first reported by Newsday on the newspaper's Web site.
Gordon emerged as the choice of general manager Garth Snow after an extensive search following Nolan's departure on July 14 and agreed to a multiyear deal with the team.
The 45-year-old Gordon, who guided the Providence Bruins to the second round of the playoffs last season and the AHL's best record, got the job over established NHL coaches such as John Tortorella, Joel Quenneville, Bob Hartley, Paul Maurice and Mike Sullivan, who all interviewed for the post.
"Scott has been one of the top up-and-coming coaches in hockey and with good reason," Snow said in a statement. "Through his work in the minor leagues and most recently with Providence over the last eight years, he has gained an impeccable reputation. The entire Islanders organization looks forward to working with Scott."
Gordon was picked to lead the Islanders' youth movement that Nolan was resistant to buy into. He will be New York's fifth coach in six seasons -- the 14th overall -- and the first hired by Snow since the former Islanders goalie became GM before the 2006-07 season.
Under Gordon, the Providence Bruins went 55-18-3 last season and compiled the most points in the AHL. They were eliminated in the second round by Portland.
In five seasons with Providence, Gordon went 221-141-20-27. He was an assistant with Providence for three seasons before taking over as head coach, and coached in the ECHL before that.
"Garth has given me an unbelievable opportunity to coach in the NHL with the Islanders," Gordon said in a statement. "From my time coaching in Providence, I've seen firsthand the talented young players in this organization. I look at the direction and the vision for this team and see a bright future."
Gordon played in 23 NHL games over two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques as a goalie. His career mark was 2-16 with a 5.60 goals-against average.
After getting the Islanders into the playoffs in 2007, Nolan guided the club to a 35-38-9 finish last season. He finished his New York tenure with a 74-68-21 mark.
Nolan had one season remaining on the deal he signed in 2006, when he and then-GM Neil Smith were hired on the same day. Smith was fired several weeks later and Snow, then the Islanders' backup goalie, took over as GM.
On the day of the dismissal, Nolan and Snow cited philosophical differences as the reason for the split.
Only three NHL teams finished with fewer points than the Islanders last season.
Gordon, a Massachusetts native who backstopped Boston College to the NCAA Frozen Four as a goalie in 1985, was the first ECHL graduate to play in the NHL. He was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic hockey team.