Snow & the Scotts: Recruiting teachers for the Islanders nursery

Note: I'm on beach time, where I take a nap and wake up several piers down and an undertow or two away from safety, but I figured it'd be wrong not to chime in on the naming of Scott Allen as Scott Gordon's second hand-picked assistant coach. If I'm sounding a bit disoriented, it's because a typical day's routine and pressing concerns go like this: Wake up. Brew coffee. Drink coffee. Load cooler. Roll to beach. Imbibe. Nap in water. Drift away from screaming children. Wake up, reorient, refill, repeat.

Beyond representing a second vanilla name on the coaching staff ("Hi, this is my coach Scott, and this is my other coach Scott."), the Islanders hiring of Scott Allen is another nod toward the fabled halls of the youth movement.

Garth Snow's pick of Scott the 1st (Gordon), when other "experienced" NHL coaches were available and interested, was a deliberate turn toward focusing on a long-term leader who works well and happily with kids. Gordon's successful years in AHL Providence were his track record, while his hockey approach was the kicker that won him the job. Now those two former New Englander goalies have brought in Dean Chynoweth and Scott the 2nd (Allen) to complete a staff that can grow together along with the present and future kids Snow is betting his tenure on. The assortment of young players are Garth's nursery. The Scotts & Co. are the teachers Garth has picked to make it run.

Chris Botta tipped Allen as the likely coach last week when he was seen hanging around camp. The fact that preview of sorts didn't stand Isles nation on its head is just a reflection that a) assistant coach gigs aren't exactly exciting news, even in slow July, and b) Allen is another relatively obscure name who has paid his dues in the minors (both as a player and coach) developing players.

But like Gerard Gallant's rocky head coaching career in Columbus and his uneven power play on Long Island, the choice isn't insignificant. Whether Chynoweth or Allen have the systems acumen to improve the strategic side of the Islanders' NHL in-game performance remains to be seen. But like the long-tenured Darcy Regier/Lindy Ruff tandem in Buffalo (yes, we realize they are sans Cup), it's an attempt to build a cohesive team, with a long-term view, who can take the picks who are babies now and turn them into champions down the road. Be still, my heart: Did we say continuity? With the Islanders? Indeed.

So buckle in, because this leadership team should be at the helm for quite a while.

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