The New York Islanders announced the additions of Fred Brathwaite and Kelly Buchberger to the team’s coaching staff on July 10 and 11 respectively.
Brathwaite will serve as the goaltending coach for the team, while Buchberger will serve as an assistant coach for the upcoming 2017-2018 season.
The New York Islanders sent out press releases on the new additions to the Islanders’ coaching staff.
BROOKLYN (JULY 10, 2017) – The New York Islanders announced today that Fred Brathwaite will serve as goaltending coach under Head Coach Doug Weight.
Brathwaite has worked as the goaltending coach for Hockey Canada with their Under-18 team for the last three seasons. Prior to that, he held the same role with Canada’s Under-20 team, as well as with his former club Adler Mannheim of the German Professional League (DEL) during the 2013-14 season.
“Fred’s experiences at just about every level of hockey make him a tremendous addition to our hockey club,” Weight said. “Not only has he had a solid NHL career, but he’s also worked with some of the top net-minder’s coming out of Hockey Canada. He’s ready for this next step and we look forward to him working with our organization’s goalies.”
During nine NHL seasons as a player, the Ottawa, Ontario, native played in 254 games and posted an 81-99-37 record with a cumulative 2.73 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage. Brathwaite came into the league with the Edmonton Oilers and went on to play games with the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets. He also spent time with the Syracuse Crunch and Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, Ak Bars Kazan and Avangard Omsk of the Russian Superleague (now the Kontenential Hockey League) and Adler Mannheim of the DEL. Brathwaite won Goaltender of the Year Honors in the RSL in 2005-06 and won Player of the Year in 2008-09 in the DEL with Adler.
Before turning professional, Brathwaite won a Memorial Cup in 1990 with the Oshawa Generals.
BROOKLYN (July 11, 2017) – The New York Islanders announced today that Kelly Buchberger will serve as an Assistant Coach under Head Coach Doug Weight.
Buchberger served as Vice President of Player Development for the Edmonton Oilers last season, after spending the previous two seasons as the club’s Manager of Player Personnel. The Langenburg, Saskatchewan native spent six seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Oilers from 2008-2014. He also served one season as Head Coach of Edmonton’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Springield Falcons.
“Kelly adds years and years of NHL coaching and management experience to our staff,” Weight said. “He is a tireless worker who commands respect behind the bench and in the locker room. I’m thrilled to welcome him to the organization.”
During his 18 NHL seasons as a player, Buchberger scored 309 points (105 goals, 104 assists) in 1,182 regular season games in a career that began during the 1987 Stanley Cup playoffs with the Oilers and concluded in 2003-04 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Buchberger was named the Oilers ninth captain in 1995-96 and served in that capacity for four seasons. He won two Stanley Cups with the Oilers in 1987 and 1990.
(Both Courtesy of the New York Islanders)
When it comes to employment, most of the time, it’s not about what you know, but rather it’s who you know. People tend to hire others either by reference or through personal experience.
The Islanders are no different. Isles’ General Manager Garth Snow has hired two individuals in back-to-back days who are quite familiar with Head Coach Doug Weight to help him steer the squad back to the playoffs.
Next season, the Islanders will party like it’s 1993-1996. During that time period, Weight, assistant coach Luke Richardson, Brathwaite, and Buchberger called each other teammates on the Edmonton Oilers. Brathwaite was reunited with Weight on the St. Louis Blues for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. He also shared one more season with Richardson in 2003-04. Hopefully, this time around, the results will be better for the four together.
All jokes aside, the familiarity of each other will prove to be pivotal, as the franchise looks to re-establish itself as a true playoff contender. While the Oilers’ success had preceded the group’s presence in Edmonton, the new hires still found success on their own.
For Brathwaite, he helped coach Team Canada to Bronze at the 2014-15 Under-18 World Juniors. Featured on that squad were defenseman Parker Wotherspoon, and forwards Matthew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier. There’s that familiarity theme again.
As for Buchberger, before playing in a single NHL regular season game, he was called up to the Oilers in the 1986-87 playoffs, where he won his first Stanley Cup. Buchberger went on to win a second Cup in 1989-90 after spending most of his pro career with the Nova Scotia Oilers, Edmonton’s American Hockey League-affiliate. Buchberger would also capture Gold at the World Championships in 1993-94 and Silver in 1995-96. After spending years in various coaching and front-office positions, Buchberger will certainly add years of development, leadership, and winning experience to the Islanders.
The success is there, but only time will tell if that success will transition to the Islanders this upcoming season.