Islanders Hire Barry Trotz As Head Coach

zimbioPhoto: Zimbio

After Barry Trotz resigned as Capitals head coach on Monday afternoon, he did not stay unemployed for very long. The New York Islanders hired Trotz on Thursday afternoon. The Islanders were the only other team in the NHL besides the Capitals looking for a new head coach. 

TSN’s Darren Dreger was the first to report the news.

The Athletic’s Arthur Staple later confirmed Trotz will be the Islanders’ next head coach but it’s not official yet.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman reported that Trotz agreed to a five-year deal worth at least $4 million per year.

Sources also say that former Capitals’ goaltending coach and director of goaltending Mitch Korn is also expected to join Trotz in New York.

Trotz said he wanted to return as Capitals head coach during breakdown day last Wednesday but he and Capitals GM Brian MacLellan were unable to reach an agreement.   Trotz’s contract in 2014 contained a clause in it that if he won the Stanley Cup during his tenure in Washington, a two-year contract worth $3.6 million would automatically take place.

Trotz wanted a five-year contract extension worth $25 million, which would have made him one of the top five highest-paid coaches in the NHL. MacLellan said the five years Trotz wanted were the sticking point during a press conference late Monday evening.

After coaching for 15 years with the Nashville Predators, Trotz succeeded Adam Oates as head coach in 2014. He has coached the past four seasons with the team, going 205-89-34, good for a .677 point percentage. Trotz won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 2015-16 and guided the Capitals to consecutive Presidents’ Trophies in 2015-16 and 2016-17. He led the Capitals to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup this past season and three consecutive Metropolitan Division titles.

In his career, Trotz went 762-568-60 with the Predators and Capitals, good for a .564 points percentage. He coached his 1500th game in the NHL on February 17 against the Chicago Blackhawks and became the fifth coach in league history to reach the milestone.

The Islanders fired head coach Doug Weight and GM Garth Snow on June 5 after going 35-37-10, missing the playoffs by 17 points. The Islanders allowed 3.57 goals per game this season, the most in the league, and were 73.2% efficient on the penalty kill, the worst in the league.

The New York Islanders are currently trying to lock up center John Tavares, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Tavares was second on the Islanders with 37 goals (behind Anders Lee, 40) and 84 points (behind Matthew Barzal, 85). The 2009 first overall pick will be the most coveted player on the market if he hits unrestricted free agency. Adding Trotz helps the Islanders convince Tavares, 27, to stay.

Under Trotz, the Capitals allowed an average of 2.46 goals per game and allowed an average of 2.16 goals in 2016-17, the fewest in the league that year.

Trotz is the first head coach to leave his team after winning the Stanley Cup since 2002 when Scotty Bowman retired after leading the Detroit Red Wings to the Stanley Cup and the fifth to do so in the past 40 years.

He was not offered a contract by the Capitals last offseason after falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in two consecutive seasons and went into the final year of his deal without a contract extension. The Capitals won the Presidents’ Trophy, given to the best team in the regular season, each time.

Last night at the NHL Awards, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who won the Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy for leading the league with 49 goals, and center Nicklas Backstrom spoke out about Trotz’s resignment. Ovechkin said, “It’s sad but it’s a bussiness.,” while Backstrom said, “Something you can’t take away from Barry is what he’s done to this team. Him and the coaching staff has been doing a tremendous job to just get us together. He’s been schooling us good these four years and we got a good finish out of it. . . . Hopefully there’s no hard feelings. He’s always going to be remembered in Washington as a champion, which is great, which he deserves.”

Capitals associate coach Todd Reirden, who ran the defense and the power play for the last four years, is expected to become the Capitals’ next head coach.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was seeing T.J. Oshie's hat-trick​ during Game 1 of the Caps' second round playoff series against Pittsburgh in 2016. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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15 Responses to Islanders Hire Barry Trotz As Head Coach

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Cap set at 79.5…. can we re sign JD?

    Like

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