BROOKLYN (July 19, 2017) – The New York Islanders announced [Wednesday] that Greg Cronin has been promoted to Associate Coach.
“Greg’s hockey knowledge and experiences of over 30 years in the coaching profession are an asset to our coaching staff,” Head Coach Doug Weight said. “He’s run our penalty-kill the past several seasons and each year, it’s been one of the best in the league. He has a tireless work ethic on the bench during games, at practice and in meetings. His desire to get the best out of every player, to help achieve our goal of winning is impressive and I’m thrilled to continue to work with him.”
Cronin was hired as an Assistant Coach on June 16, 2014, and has worked under that title for the past three seasons with the Islanders. This is currently his second stint with the Islanders, initially serving as an Assistant Coach with the organization from 1998-2003 and as Head Coach of the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers from 2003-2005. In two seasons with the Sound Tigers, Cronin led the team to a 78-61-12 record.
Prior to re-joining the Islanders in 2014, the Arlington, MA native spent three seasons behind the bench as an Assistant Coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Cronin served as Head Coach at Northeastern University from 2005-2011. He rebuilt the program, improving from three wins in his first season, to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2009, the school’s first in 15 years. That season he won the Bob Kullen Coach of the Year Award as best coach in Hockey East. From 2008-2011, Cronin compiled the greatest win total in a four-year span in NU history.
He also coached in college hockey at the University of Maine (five seasons), with the final year serving as Interim Head Coach and Colorado College (three seasons). Cronin got his start in coaching as an assistant at Colby College in 1987-88.
On the international stage, Cronin served as an Assistant Coach for Team USA at the World Hockey Championships in 1997, 2011 and 2012. In 2012, he helped guide the U.S. to a first-place finish in the preliminary round. He also was the founder, Director of Development for the United States National Development Program Under-18 Team and Head Coach of the Under 18 team. He also served as an Assistant Coach for Team USA’s World Junior team in 1997 and 1998, winning silver in ’97.
Cronin played four seasons at Colby College in Maine from 1982-86. He earned a Master’s Degree in Business at the University of Maine in 1990 while serving as a graduate assistant for the men’s ice hockey team.
(Courtesy of the New York Islanders)
The promotion of Greg Cronin follows a series of hires this summer by the New York Islanders to round out the coaching staff. Isles’ General Manager Garth Snow apparently was not finished when he hired Fred Brathwaite and Kelly Buchberger. And Snow made another solid move for the bench staff with Cronin.
As Weight alluded to, Cronin helped improve the penalty kill significantly. When Cronin took over in 2014, the PK was ranked 26th league-wide, only three ranks higher than it was before he came aboard. In Cronin’s second season (2015-16), the Isles shot up the ranks to fourth-overall with an 84.5% kill rate. Last season saw a drop to 11th league-wide with 81.9% success, mostly due to the loss of utility forward Frans Neilson in the offseason. Nevertheless, Cronin’s leadership has helped improve an significant aspect of the team, giving them a better chance to compete.
Also mentioned above, Cronin was the founder of the USNTDP for USA Hockey. This shows his commitment to the success of young players. Having coached at the World Juniors, NCAA and American Hockey League levels, and now in the National Hockey League, Cronin understands what needs to be done to help players develop their game as they grow from prospects into professionals at the highest level of play in the world. This is most crucial to a young Islanders team looking to regain and maintain playoff-contender stature.
Youth is the key to winning the Stanley Cup – but this isn’t a newly-discovered formula. Cronin is there to provide the necessary guidance and instruction to make more complete, 200-foot players out of the roster, especially for the younger ones. In the highly-competitive Metropolitan division, the Isles will be glad to have promoted Cronin.