Islanders hunting far and wide
Wang seems to be leaving no stone unturned in GM search
BY ALAN HAHN
Newsday Staff Writer
May 3, 2006
Charles Wang's extensive search for a new general manager has cast a
wide and indiscriminate net. From Phil Esposito to Neil Smith to John
Weisbrod and even player agents such as Brian Lawton and Mark
Gandler: Come one, come all.
But the greatest intrigue involves some highly regarded assistant
GMs, such as Detroit's Jim Nill, Ottawa's Peter Chiarelli and
Nashville's Ray Shero.
Nill, 48, has mostly been in charge of Detroit's amateur scouting
over the past eight years and boasts late-round draft-pick gems Pavel
Datsyuk (1998, sixth round) and Henrik Zetterberg (1999, seventh
round). But he is also under contract with the Red Wings through next
season, has established roots in suburban Detroit for almost 20 years
and, most of all, would need permission from the Red Wings to
interview for an opening elsewhere.
Chiarelli, 40, also has not yet been granted permission to interview
with another team because the Senators are still in the playoffs.
Chiarelli handles contracts and CBA matters for GM John Muckler and,
considering Muckler's age (72), there is some doubt that Ottawa would
want to let Chiarelli go.
Shero, 43, is the son of former Rangers player and coach Fred Shero.
He has emerged recently as a hot commodity and could be given
permission to interview now that the Predators have been eliminated
from the playoffs. He has been with Nashville since the franchise's
first season in 1998-99 and before then was assistant GM in Ottawa.
One assistant GM who appears to be no longer among potential
candidates is Vancouver's Steve Tambellini, who has opted not to
interview. Tambellini, a former Islander, was traveling in Europe and
could not be reached for comment. Some others who have recently
expressed interest include former Los Angeles Kings GM Dave Taylor
and former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Craig Patrick.
Want a wild-card candidate? Consider the name Kevin Cheveldayoff, the
young and very successful GM of the AHL Chicago Wolves and a former
Islanders' draft pick.
The search has become a topic of great speculation around the NHL
mostly because of a shroud of secrecy Wang has placed over it, to the
point that even outgoing GM Mike Milbury is believed to be out of the
loop. Wang, who has declined requests for an interview about the
search, has instructed all candidates to not talk to the media.
A decision might not be made until June, so it appears e that the
Islanders will conduct the NHL draft with their current scouting
staff, led by Tony Feltrin.