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CHARLES WANG ANNOUNCES MAJOR CHANGES

Thursday, 01.12.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
New York Islanders
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CHARLES WANG ANNOUNCES MAJOR CHANGES
Search begins for new GM; Shaw in as interim head coach

At a press conference this morning at Nassau Coliseum, Islanders owner Charles Wang made the following announcements:

  • Steve Stirling has been relieved of his duties as head coach.
  • Assistant coach Brad Shaw has been named interim head coach.
  • Islanders general manager Mike Milbury, upon the naming of a successor, will step away from the GM position and become a Senior Vice President for Wang's sports properties, which include the Islanders, New York Dragons (AFL), Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) and Islanders Iceworks.

Wang said that the process for hiring a new general manager begins immediately. "My goal is to have someone in place by the June draft and off-season signing period," Wang said. "Until his successor is found, Mike will continue to run hockey operations and work with Coach Shaw because we are not giving up on this season. There are 40 games remaining. We have a very talented team here. I expect us to make a run."


The following is a transcript of Charles Wang's opening remarks to the media:

I  wish  I did not have to be here today. I'm an owner who prefers to stay behind-the-scenes and allow my staff to do what they do best.

However,  it is clear that changes need to be made with the Islanders and, as owner, I am taking the responsibility of delivering the message first-hand.

We have under-performed this season. We have a very talented team. Our fans have every right to be disappointed - so am I and so is everyone in the Islanders family. Let me be clear that our expectations are to bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island - nothing else.

Since I first became owner, I am very proud of the initial steps we have made in revitalizing the franchise. Our fans have come back and our team  has  been  in the playoffs the last three seasons. But that is simply not good enough.

And  that  is why we are here today. Steve Stirling has been relieved of  his  duties as head coach. As everyone in this room knows, Steve is one of  the finest gentlemen you will ever meet in any walk of life. Steve gave us everything  he  had - first as coach of our prospects in Bridgeport and later leading  the  Islanders.  He  has  been  very  instrumental  in  the development  of  so  many  of our younger players. It is my hope that Steve will stay in the organization, and I will have that conversation with him in the next day or so.

Brad  Shaw  will  be  our  interim head coach. Brad is a very bright, charismatic  and  passionate coach, someone I'm counting on to get the most out of our team. I'm very happy that Brad has taken on this responsibility.

Mike  Milbury - as far  as I'm concerned, Mike Milbury is the proudest New York Islander of them all. I understand that this is part of the sports business,  where  for good  reason you are judged on wins and losses. But there is so much about Mike Milbury and his decade with our organization that even our most die-hard  fans  do  not  know. But I do, and so does everyone inside our Islanders family.

Even  prior  to our current slump, Mike and I had been discussing the next  phase for him. I have often challenged him about what he wanted to do when  he  grows up. Yesterday, Mike came to me and selflessly said that the time  had  come for a change in the general manager's seat. Mike told me he felt  it  was the right thing for the Islanders, it was the right thing for Charles  Wang  and,  most importantly, it was the right thing for the fans.

Knowing  what's  inside  Mike's heart, I knew that could not have been easy for  him.  He  deserves the ultimate respect of anyone who cares about this team.

I'm  happy  to  report  that  Mike  will  remain  at  my side. When a successor in his role as general manager is found, Mike will become Senior Vice  President  for all of my sports properties. He will play a vital role behind-the-scenes  with  the Islanders, Dragons, Sound Tigers and Islanders Iceworks  and also be instrumental when we move into a transformed Coliseum and new Athletic Complex.

Mike and I begin the process of finding a new general manager for the Islanders  immediately.  I  will  also listen to the counsel of friends and colleagues  around  hockey,  but  I  know  what we need. My goal is to have someone  in  place  for the June draft and off-season signing period. Until his  successor  is  found,  Mike will continue to run hockey operations and work with Coach Shaw because we are not giving up on this season. There are 40  games remaining. We have a very talented team here. I expect us to make a run.

Finally,  I  want  to  thank our fans for standing by us. I will now take your questions.

 

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
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10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
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14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
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16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 46 17 19 -4 36
K. Okposo 47 12 24 -9 36
B. Nelson 49 20 11 1 31
F. Nielsen 49 15 16 -2 31
M. Grabovski 49 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 48 8 15 5 23
A. Lee 49 7 14 1 21
N. Leddy 49 3 16 -12 19
R. Strome 38 5 13 -6 18
N. Kulemin 49 5 9 6 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 12 10 4 .921 2.18
T. Greiss 13 6 2 .927 2.32
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