In a not so surprise move, former Swift Current Head Coach and GM, Dean Chynoweth has officially accepted an Assistant Head Coaching position with the New York Islanders. I have to give some credit to Islanders: Point Blank for laying out the odds on Dean's return to the organization that drafted him. Here is the official press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ISLANDERS NAME CHYNOWETH ASSISTANT COACH
Former Islander First Round Draft Pick To Join Coaching Staff
UNIONDALE, NY, June 19, 2009 -- The New York Islanders announced today that they have named Dean Chynoweth an assistant coach. Chynoweth will join current Head Coach Scott Gordon’s staff, after serving as the General Manager and Head Coach of the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos for the past five seasons. Chynoweth is a former first round selection of the Islanders from the 1987 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
"Dean has an extremely strong background of developing young prospects from working in the International Hockey League (IHL) and WHL for the past 11 years," said Snow. "With the youth of our team, he is a perfect fit to show them what it takes to succeed in the NHL. His defensive background from his playing days will also serve as a tremendous asset to our young defensemen."
"I am thrilled to return to the Islanders organization and join Scott Gordon’s staff,” said Chynoweth. “I am very aware of the hockey tradition on Long Island from my playing days and look forward to working with the staff in returning the Islanders to the powerhouse they once were.”
Last season, the 41-year-old Chynoweth led Swift Current to the first round of the WHL playoffs. The Broncos were beaten by the Medicine Hat Tigers four games to three in their best-of-seven series. Through Chynoweth’s five seasons with the Broncos, the team posted a combined record of 162-163-6-1-1 (W-L-T-OTL-SOL). The Calgary, ALTA native started his coaching career in 1998 with the Utah Grizzlies, who at the time were a member of the IHL. Chynoweth spent two seasons in Utah before taking the head coach position with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. Chynoweth coached the Thunderbirds from 2000 to 2004.
He began his professional playing career at the end of the 1988-89 season, playing in six games with the Islanders, after completing his fourth year with Medicine Hat. He played eight seasons within the organization and scored two goals and 10 assists while compiling 408 penalty minutes in 147 games. He won a Calder Cup during the 1989-90 season while playing for the Islanders’ former American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Indians. Chynoweth played the final three years of his career with the Boston Bruins and set an NHL single season personal career best for penalty minutes with 171 in the 1996-97 season.
The Islanders did hint at the fact they wanted to bring back a person who had been involved in the organization and was of the defensive school. Chynoweth definitely fits that mold and should be a great sounding board for Gordon.
Also of note, Gordon and Chynoweth are roughly the same age and of the same mindset that developing the younger players is top priority. In my mind, this is really sound choice and only leaves one more Assistant Coaching spot to fill (unless John Chabot is asked back for next season).