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Islanders fire Jack Capuano; Doug Weight named interim coach

(Alex Brandon/AP Photo)
Jack Capuano is out as head coach of the last-placeNew York Islanders, with the team announcing the move Tuesday amid its 17-17-8 start to the season.

Assistant general manager Doug Weight will take over as coach on an interim basis.According to an NHL source, the Islanders have received permission from Florida to talk to former Panthers coach Gerard Gallant.

The move comes one day after the Islanders shut out the Boston Bruins4-0. Team president and GM Garth Snow said the halfway point of the season played a role in the timing of the move.

"Obviously, we're not in a position where we want to be standing wise," Snow said on a conference call Tuesday. "At the end of the day organizationally I don't think Jack was probably going to be a coach that we were going to bring back."

Last spring, the Islanders won a playoff round for the first time since 1993, defeating the Florida Panthers in six games. Capuano also was named an assistant coach with Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey in September.

This season has been a major disappointment for the Islanders, who as of Tuesday were in last place in the 16-team Eastern Conference and eight points out of a wild-card playoff spot.

"It's just been a different season that's unfolded compared to the last two years," Snow said. "We need to turn this ship around."

Capuano, 50, had been behind the Islanders' bench since 2010 and was the fourth-longest-tenured coach in the NHL behind Claude Julien of the Bruins, Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks and Dave Tippett of the Arizona Coyotes.

Capuano's 483 games and 227 wins rank second in franchise history behind four-time Stanley Cup-winning coach and Hall of Famer Al Arbour.

"It's an honor to have served this historic franchise and its passionate fans," he said in a statement released by the team. "I'd like to thank Garth and our ownership group for the opportunity to be the head coach of the Islanders. I'd also like to recognize our coaching staff, training staff and players for all of their hard work."

The Islanders are under new ownership with Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, and that group is expected to consider major organizational changes this offseason.

Snow signed Andrew Ladd to a $38.5 million, seven-year contract in July and the winger has been a disappointment with 12 points in 41 games. The Islanders have also dealt with some injuries and waived veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak to send him to the minors.

Snow said he takes "100 percent" responsibility for the underachievement but that he doesn't worry about his own job security.

"I don't think there's a player on our roster who I haven't had a hand in either drafting, picking up off waivers, a trade, a free-agent signing," Snow said. "Same with the staff, whether it's trainers, coaches, scouts. Obviously not hiding from the fact that it starts with me."

Weight, 45, has been with the Islanders in various coaching/front-office roles since retiring as a player after the 2010-11 season. He spent his final three playing seasons with the Isles.

Snow said Weight's relationship with all players, including Ladd, was positive and that he called captain John Tavares and others to inform them of the "organizational decision'' to fire Capuano.

Snow said assistant coach Bob Corkum would move down from the press box to the bench as part of the restructuring.

Information from ESPN's Craig Custance and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Islanders ride three-goal second period past Bruins
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