Doug Weight loses interim status, becomes Islanders coach

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Doug Weight, who became the interim coach of the New York Islanders after Jack Capuano was fired earlier this season, was named the official head coach of the team Wednesday.

Weight, who had served as assistant general manager, took over a last-place team on an interim basis after Capuano's dismissalJan. 17 and guided the Islanders to a 24-12-4 mark -- the second-best record in the NHL during that period.

The Islanders won six straight to close the season, finishing one point behind theToronto Maple Leafsfor the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"Doug has earned this opportunity from the tremendous work he has put in over the past five seasons in our front office and especially from the time he took over as interim head coach earlier this season," Islanders president and general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. "His leadership and experiences from both playing and behind the bench are valuable intangibles that not every coach can translate into a winning formula. He's gained the trust and respect from our entire team, making him the best choice to become head coach."

The team said Weight would continue to serve as its assistant general manager.

Weight, 46, has been with the Islanders in various coaching and front-office roles since retiring as a player after the 2010-11 season. He spent his final three playing seasons with the Isles and was the 12th captain in team history.

"I'm honored to be named head coach of such an historic franchise with one of the most passionate fan bases in the NHL," Weight said. "There is a deep history of winning with the Islanders, and I look forward to doing everything in my power to return to the playoffs and have success."

Weight scored 278 goals and had 755 assists over 19 seasons with theRangers, Oilers, Blues, Hurricanes, Ducksand Islanders. The four-time All-Star was inducted into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013. He skated for Team USA in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics as well as the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and 2004.

While Weight didn't make any sweeping changes when he took over midway through the season, he said he does expect to tweak some things heading into the 2017-18 campaign.

"With the situation we were in -- 40 games left and probably 70-some days -- it's awful tough to change, pretty much," he said. "There will be things I want to do differently, from little things when they show up to the rink, timing and things, things on the ice and the way we practice, training camp. I have some time to figure those things out."