Laviolette to Be Fired? Trade rumors.
My favorite reporter (not) Larry Brooks “has learned” that many of the problems that the Islanders are having this year stems from a rift between certain core players and head coach Peter Laviolette. According to Brooks, the rift began last year during the Toronto playoff series when Laviolette scolded many of his high profile players in front of reporters and higher ups in Isles management.
The players also believe that Laviolette has “coddled” Alexi Yashin even while he has scored 2 goals and been -9 over the last 11 games. A rift in the locker room has occured between those who like Yashin and those who don’t. Even Islanders tv reporters have said Yashin is a loner and that is the reason the Islanders have been interested in obtaining Bure and Kozlov so that Yashin will have some friends on the team.
Laviolette to regain some form of commorodity asked his forward lines in Boston to eat together as a unit instead of going out as a team. One Islander was quoted saying it was “high school stuff.”
Laviolette before the Pittsburgh game (Islanders won 3-2) took a lot of the blame for the teams poor start. According to Brooks, Mike Milbury has been reluctant to pull a trade off because he likes his team and feels that the problem might lie with the head coach, whose contract expires after this year. It was suggested that Milbury might not wait much longer, and that his first move if given permission by the owners would be to fire Laviolette.
However it also appears that players like Peca who like Laviolette have tried to get in the middle and motivate some of these players to take the heat off of the head coach.
I personally like Laviolette. I think he is smart and tough. I think some of these unmotivated players were guys that weren’t producing anyway dating back to last year before the playoffs. I hope they don’t get rid of Laviolette, but anything is possible under Milbury. The article mentions that the “franchise” is in jeopardy again because after a massive raise in ticket prices and fans buying into the team, an exodus of those same fans will occur if the team isn’t righted soon.
In trade rumors, a deal of Dave Scatchard and Brad Isbister to Edmonton for Anson Carter has been put on the table by Milbury. This one, or variations of it were rampant last year. Another has DiPietro to Boston for Kyle McClaren. The Flyers have been scouting the Islanders looking to move Dan Mcgillis. Phoenix has also been seen scouting the Isles looking for a center for Tony Amonte, who has 4 goals and is a -6.