For Laviolette, and Sterling: Both picked by Milbury, however, at the wrong time. We had just received an infusion of veterans from that draft with Aucoin, Peca, and Yashin, amongst others. If I really wanted to win for the now, i would've gone with a more experienced coach that would have handled Laviolettes' and Sterlings' second seasons differently. The fact that two "AHL" coaches were able to take that team to the playoffs, with that veteran core, in my opinion, is a success. Their lack of NHL coaching experience in terms of holding the team together, led to their firings their next years, again in my opinion.
Nolan: was hired at the right time, and took them into the playoffs the first year. But as the Islanders realized last summer, they weren't going to get better experienced players, they needed to get younger and build a team from scratch. Nolan didn't want that, which brings us today.
I believe that the next coach will be starting to develop and mentoring more this year than actually coaching. As the team grows, so will the coach. Good time for Gordon. Read a lot about him, and I'll comment on him later.