Doug Weight is still unsure whether he wants a career in coaching, but it sure looks like he's the perfect fit for this Islanders club.
The Isles went 24-12-4 during Weight's interim tenure, and the former NHL All-Star seemed to have earned the respect of the locker room over that stretch.
"His communication and his leadership were followed. The guys want to play for him," Anders Lee said of the coach. "Dougie came in and really changed the mindset of the team. He's got a bright future in coaching. If he wants to do it, he'll be successful."
"I think lots of guys would love to see him back," Andrew Ladd added. "Our record since he took over shows what he was able to do."
It seems like the Islanders are always searching for the next great NHL coach, and even when they had one (Peter Laviolette), they can never quite seem to make the marriage work. The quest might be over now, though, because Weight has really shown he is made for this job.
A lot of people asked me what I thought the main difference was between Jack Capuano and Weight, and I think Lee addressed it when he talked about communication. But I'll tack on stressing (and following through on) holding players accountable as well, and rewarding them when they showed improvement. Under Jack, it always seemed like there wasn't a real rhyme of reason to why players floated in and out of the lineup, and I think a lot of guys felt unsure of where they stood. With Weight, that wasn't a problem. Not only did he know the buck stopped with him, but was forthright with his players, and I think a lot of them respected that, and upped their game as a result of it.
I know Weight took the interim job solely as a placeholder until the Isles hired their big, brand name coach, but if Weight is open to staying on, I think he may just be the coach this franchise has been waiting for. It's hard to argue with the results, and if the Isles can retool in the offseason, I think the sky could be the limit with him behind the bench.