Islanders keeping Jack Capuano

Updated: April 14, 2014, 7:10 PM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano is set to return next season, despite the team's disappointing finish this season.

Islanders general manager Garth Snow gave Capuano his endorsement Monday during the team's breakup day, telling Newsday that "Cappy will be back."

According to Newsday, Snow said he had "no intentions of making a coaching change" for next season, even after the team's abysmal performance.

The Islanders, who made their first playoff appearance in six years last spring, took a tumble down the standings to finish 26th in the league with a 34-37-11 record in 2013-14. They played the final six weeks of the season without superstar center John Tavares, who suffered a knee injury during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Capuano completed his fourth season as coach of the Islanders. Since replacing Scott Gordon following his dismissal in 2010, Capuano has posted a record of 118-120-39.

Snow did leave open the possibility of bringing someone else into the fold in addition to Capuano but did not portray that as a likely scenario.

"If we had the opportunity to add to our staff -- the way we'd look to add a player -- then we'll do that," Snow said, according to Newsday, "but I don't expect to change the current staff."

Capuano has the second-most games coached and second-most wins in franchise history.

"Cappy's system worked really well at the end of the year," said forward Kyle Okposo, who finished with a team-high 27 goals and 69 points in 71 games. "We were outplaying teams, outworking them. Everybody was playing extremely structured and playing in the framework of our team.

"For whatever reason we got away from that at different times throughout the year."

Tavares finished second to Okposo with 24 goals and 66 assists despite playing in only 59 games. He is on track to be fully healthy in time for next season.

"I'm feeling really good," Tavares said Monday as the Islanders packed up for the summer. "I saw the doctor this morning. The good news is I'll be starting on the ice at some point next week, so I'm looking forward to doing that but I'll start fairly slowly and progression the same as it has been off the ice.

"I'm looking forward to those next steps and getting much closer to being cleared to play. Things have gone really well and I've put a lot of time and effort into my recovery. It's been hard watching, but I'm looking forward to getting back to being 100 percent."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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