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Islanders dump coach and general manager
The New York Islanders are far, far removed from their glory years of the early 1980s. They have not been a model of consistency, going through eight coaches in the last nine years and for the most part, playing sub-par hockey. Steve Stirling was the eight victim, fired after about a year and a half on the job. Assistant coach and former Ottawa Senators captain and defenseman Brad Shaw will take over the coaching duties on an interim basis. Shaw will coach the team for the rest of this season with the goal of turning around their season and making the playoffs.
But the biggest surprise was the fall of general manager Mike Milbury, who has seemed untouchable over his tumultuous reign on the island. Milbury will leave the Islanders' hockey operations and move into a role as a vice president in charge of owner Charles Wang's sports properties. He will also help pick his successor who will likely be in place prior to the June 2006 NHL amateur entry draft. "I'm still part of this organization, and I think whoever comes in here is going to have to work with me to try to build a business that has been bleeding Charles out of a ton of money," Milbury said.
It should be noted that even as the Islanders struggle and go through a revolving door of coaches, their ex-bench boss Peter Laviolette is having an amazing year with the Carolina Hurricanes. He has helped resurrect the team which is currently leading the Southeast conference with 72 points in 49 games.