After searching all summer and interviewing a number of candidates, GM Garth Snow decided that Scott Gordon was the man for the Islanders' head coaching job. On Wednesday, Gordon--the reigning American Hockey League Coach of the Year--was presented with a personalized jersey in front of members of the media crowded into Doolin's Pub at the Nassau Coliseum.
"It was a rigorous process," said Snow. "Some of the ingredients I was looking for were good communication skills, someone that provided structure to our game, integrity, discipline on and off the ice and someone who would instill pride into our organization. I met a lot of great hockey minds during the process, but Scott was clearly the right choice for the job."
After receiving an Islanders jersey from Snow, Gordon--the 14th head coach in franchise history--addressed the media.
"What a great day this is for me and my family," said Gordon. "I would like to thank Charles and Garth for giving me this opportunity."
Gordon proceeded to thank many other important people in his life, including Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli, as well as his parents, wife Jennifer, and his two sons Erik and Ryan.
Referring to a piece of Islanders' history, Gordon highlighted a quote Wayne Gretzky wrote in a book years after his team's loss to the Islanders in the 1983 Stanley Cup Finals.
"We had to walk by the Islanders' locker room after the game," Gordon quoted. "We didn't see them celebrating, just taping up all of their wounds and we didn't have a scratch on us. That's when we realized what it takes to win."
The five-year head coach of the AHL's Providence Bruins discussed the atmosphere of coaching in Providence--a region filled with championship-winning teams.
"Coaching in Providence, there isn't a better place to experience success," said Gordon. "With the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots, it's a great place to see what it takes to win. You have to go into each year believing you can win the Stanley Cup and win every game."
Known for a defensive-minded style of play, Gordon explained that his philosophy is not all about defense.
"Understand that a good defense is only caused by having a good offense," Gordon said. "You need a strong forecheck to put pressure on the other team."
Gordon admitted that his toughest challenge will be getting acclimated with the new players, but that the adjustment won't be as difficult considering he's been coaching for 15 years.
The former netminder said he felt reassured by his decision to become the Islanders' head coach after speaking to team captain Bill Guerin.
"It was good to hear from Billy," said Gordon. "He told me of his high expectations he had for the team."
In addition to Guerin, Rick DiPietro
and first-round draft pick Josh Bailey
were on hand to help welcome the new head coach.
Among the media outlets covering the press conference were:NBC, ABC, CBS, SNY, News 12, TV 55, Newsday, the Daily News, the New York Post, as well as Islanders TV and the NYI Blog Boxers.
To read the press release on the hiring of Scott Gordon, click here