Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Coaching carousel notes
With the coaching changes in Carolina and Washington, entering play tonight the five head coaches of teams in the Southeast division have 175 games of head coaching experience... combined.
Guy Boucher is by far the most experienced (105), Claude Noel has coached 47 games and Kevin Dineen 23. Dale Hunter and Kirk Muller will make their coaching debuts tonight as Washington hosts St. Louis and Carolina hosts Florida. (For reasons unclear to Islander fans, somehow Darcy Tucker wasn't given an NHL head coaching job yesterday.)
Among those with more than 175 games experience is that old-time Islander... 21 year-old John Tavares. Tavares will play in his 183rd NHL game tonight -- becoming the 100th Islander skater to appear in that many games.
Nine NHL teams have changed coaches since Jack Capuano became the Isles coach. Muller and Hunter join Ken Hitchcock in assuming roles during the current season; there were also six changes over this past summer.
Since the spring of 2008, 24 teams have changed coaches (several more than once), leaving only Ruff, Trotz, Babcock, Carlyle, Vigneault and Julien in their pre-2008 roles.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick