Former UMaine coach Corkum becomes fifth Black Bear to join Islanders organization

Posted July 18, 2013, at 6:37 p.m.
Bob Corkum
Courtesy photo
Bob Corkum

ORONO, Maine — New York Islanders general manager and former University of Maine goaltender Garth Snow said former University of Maine associate head hockey coach Bob Corkum will be a “great fit” in the Islanders organization.

Snow recently hired Corkum to work in the Islanders’ player development office.

“Obviously, he has an impressive resume as player in the NHL and as a college hockey coach. He had a great pro career and he had success at the college level. He has a wealth of knowledge. He’s a good addition to our staff,” said Snow Thursday.

Corkum will be the fifth former Black Bear to join the Islanders organization.

In addition to Snow, Jack Capuano is the head coach of the Islanders, Mike Dunham is the Islanders’ goalie coach and 1992 Hobey Baker Award winner Scott Pellerin is the head coach of the Islanders’ American Hockey League franchise in Bridgeport, CT. All of them played in the NHL.

“You can never have enough Maine Black Bears,” quipped Snow.

Snow said Corkum will spend a lot of time with the younger players in the Islanders’ organization “helping them get to the NHL.

“They may need a little extra guidance in how to find their games. He’ll be very helpful to those players,” said Snow. “He will also track the players we’ve drafted [when they go off to] college or Major Junior and spend some time with them. He will have a wide range of duties that he’ll fulfill within the organization. He’ll work closely with Eric Cairns [in the player development office].”

Snow would not disclose the terms of Corkum’s contract.

The 45-year-old Corkum, a native of Salisbury, Mass., was a senior at Maine when Snow was a freshman.

“I had a lot of respect for the way he played the game, and he’s a quality person,” said Snow.

Corkum played 159 games at Maine from 1985-89 and had 132 career points (56 goals, 76 assists) before beginning his pro career. He went on to play in 720 NHL games for seven teams over 12 years and notched 200 points (97 goals, 103 assists). He was a physical defensive specialist/penalty killer who was regarded as one of the NHL’s best faceoff men.

He began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater, Triton Regional High School, in 2003 and eventually served as the associate head coach of the highly-successful New Hampshire Junior Monarchs in the Eastern Junior Hockey League from 2006-2008.

He was named the associate head coach at the University of Maine on Aug. 22, 2008 and served in that capacity under head coach Tim Whitehead.

Whitehead was fired in April with one year remaining on his contract and Corkum was appointed interim head coach.

Corkum was a finalist for Whitehead’s job but Dennis “Red” Gendron was hired. Gendron elected to pass over Corkum for an assistant’s job, hiring former Maine assistant Jay Leach and former Black Bear and NHL player Ben Guite instead.

Corkum will be the head coach for the United States Under-18 Select team at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Slovakia from Aug. 6-10. He had previously been an assistant for the U-18 Selects. As the head coach of the U.S. Under-17 team, he led them to a 4-0 record and the title in the Five National Tournament.

Corkum could not be reached for comment.

Snow, who has been the Islanders’ GM since 2006 and was chosen NHL Executive of the Year by Sports Illustrated for the 2006-2007 season, said he has been pleased with all of the former Black Bears in the organization.

The Islanders made the playoffs for the first time in six years this past season.

“We took a good first step by getting into the playoffs and Jack and his assistants did a great job. Our fan base is excited about next season. We’re looking to build off last season. We have a good nucleus of young players,” said Snow. “Our team in Bridgeport was the second youngest team in the AHL and Scott did a great job developing the players. And Mike has a great demeanor with the goalies.”

Snow also said he has been pleased with the play of last year’s Black Bear tri-captain Joey Diamond, who had two goals and three assists in 10 games with Bridgeport after the college season ended.

“He brings some grit to the team,” said Snow.

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