The New York Islanders announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have relieved head coach Doug Weight and general manager Garth Snow of their duties.
It is the first move made by new president Lou Lamoriello, who will also assume the role of GM with the Islanders.
“The New York Islanders would like to thank both Garth and Doug for their dedication to the franchise,” Lamoriello said in a statement released by the team. “Both started their tenures with the franchise as players and grew as tremendous leaders to the positions they held.”
Both Snow and Weight will remain with the organization in diminished roles.
Snow worked in the Islanders front office for the past 12 seasons with little success. New York made the postseason just four times during Snow’s tenure while winning just one playoff series in 2016. It was the franchise’s first postseason series triumph in 23 years.
Many viewed Snow as a severe hindrance to any sort of consistent success that could have possibly been attained by the organization. An inability to pull off any serious trades to improve the team’s postseason chances for over a decade while ignoring glaring team needs turned the fan base against him.
Most recently, Snow was unable to acquire a serious defensive upgrade for the league’s worst blueline despite the Islanders sitting just two points out of a playoff spot in February. It was the main factor as to why the team plummeted to a seventh-place finish in the Metropolitan Division while missing the playoffs for a second-straight year.
When things started going south, Weight could do little to stop the negative momentum from crushing his team. The inexperienced head coach implemented systems that his team could not handle, generating offense from their own zone and putting an overwhelming strain on a defense that simply lacked the talent to succeed.
In one-plus seasons as Islanders head coach, Weight went 59-49-14.
The move comes less than three weeks after New York hired Lamoriello as president of hockey operations and is just the start of a monumental checklist that lies before him.
While the Hall-of-Fame executive — who helped the New Jersey Devils win three Stanley Cups — will be tasked with finding a new head coach, Lamoriello must also re-sign star captain John Tavares. The 27-year-old franchise center hits unrestricted free agency on July 1.
But Lamoriello’s early actions at the helm of the Islanders immediately puts him in the good graces of a fan base that has been downtrodden and frustrated over the last three decades. It’s a clear message to them and the NHL that this team is getting back on the right path toward contention.