The Islanders have taken the interim tag off Doug Weight, naming him head coach on Wednesday.
"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," President and General Manager Garth Snow said in a release. "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."
Weight guided the Isles to a 24-12-4 record after taking over this season for the fired Jack Capuano.
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."
The 46-year-old Weight had joined the Isles as an assistant under Jack Capuano in the 2011-12 season.
He had a 22-year career in the NHL, which concluded with a three-season stint with the Isles from 2008 to 2011.
I expressed my support for Weight on Monday, so it probably doesn't come as much of a surprise that I'm a big fan of this move. But what I'm more surprised by is how much of a 180 Weight did on becoming a head coach.
As my colleague Andy Graziano has said, Weight really didn't have much of an interest in coaching prior to his interim stint. But maybe the way the room took to him turned him around. And I'm glad it did, because he seems like the right man for the job.
What this means for who will ultimately be making the hockey decisions this summer is up for debate. One would think that if ownership wanted to give full autonomy to a new team president, they would have let that person pick the head coach. Maybe they're ready to announce that, too, and whatever candidate they're going to go with has signed off on Weight? Maybe this is Garth Snow's job after all? Either way, we know who will be behind the bench for the Isles come next October, and I think it's the right call.