John Gruden is moving on — and up — after his Ontario Hockey League championship season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Hockey News North has confirmed.
The 48-year old Gruden, who was the head coach in Hamilton for two seasons, has accepted a job as an assistant with the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League.
In leaving the OHL for the NHL, Gruden joins the staff of new Islanders head coach Barry Trotz. Trotz is fresh from coaching the Washington Capitals to the 2018 Stanley Cup championship.
Bulldogs associate coach David Matsos would seemingly be a prime candidate to replace Gruden as the bench boss in Hamilton.
Matsos, who played for the 1993 Memorial Cup champion Soo Greyhounds, has prior OHL experience as a head coach over parts of three seasons with the Sudbury Wolves. He has also paid his dues as a former assistant coach with the Windsor Spitfires.
PHOTO: John Gruden, then of the Hamilton Bulldogs, now of the New York Islanders.