The Islanders are not only bringing a head coach with a Stanley Cup ring in Barry Trotz to the organization but also an assistant coach with a Super Bowl ring.
Wait, I’m just being told that it’s not the same Gruden. As you were everyone.
A day after Kelly Buchberger left to become the head coach of the Tri-City Americans of the WHL, the Islanders hired John Gruden as an assistant coach, away from the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
From the Islanders press release:
Gruden, 48, has served as the Head Coach for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League for the past two seasons. Last year, with the Bulldogs he won the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL Champions. Along with winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup, Hamilton finished with the best record in the OHL Eastern Conference, 43-18-4-3. Gruden finished with an overall coaching record of 76-45-8-7.
Prior to coaching the Bulldogs, Gruden served as Head Coach for the Flint Firebirds (OHL) during the 2015-16 season.
Gruden has extensive background with USA Hockey, where he was an Assistant Coach for Team USA at the 2016 U18 World Championships in Grand Forks, ND. He spent four seasons (2011-15) as an Assistant Coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. Gruden helped lead Team USA to gold-medal finishes at both the 2012 and 2014 U18 Men’s World Championships.
The Virginia, Minn. native played 92 games over the course of six seasons in the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals. Gruden also played in the American Hockey League, International Hockey League and in Europe. He represented Team USA internationally at the 2003 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku, Finland.
Gruden attended Ferris State University, where he played in 155 games and registered 104 points (40 goals, 64 assists). He became the first NCAA Division I All-American in Ferris State Athletics history in 1993-94. He also was the first player in school history to achieve Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) First-Team honors and finished as the runner-up for the CCHA’s Player of the Year Award that same season.
I’m not sure if this Gruden is a quarterback guru of the power play or if his nickname is Chucky, but with an “i”.