Why was Barry Trotz fired, and what results for the Islanders?

If you expect to hear a little bit about why the Islanders decided to fire coach Barry Trotz on Monday, general manager Lou Lamoriello did not have much to say to you at the next meeting which took place about half an hour later. the news shocked the world of hockey.

Instead, the original vessels were as follows:

• The idea was for Lamoriello and Lamoriello alone.

“Did I talk to anyone about this? The answer is no, “said Lamoriello.” “Did I talk to the players about the idea? do it well. ”

• The fact that Trotz has one year left on his contract did not help.

“No,” said Lamoriello.

According to The AthleticPierre LeBrun, the last year of Trotz ‘five-year contract had a net worth of $ 4 million.

• The Islanders’ failure to live up to expectations this season was not the only one Trotz left.

“This idea was not just made this season,” Lamoriello said in a statement that was perhaps the most surprising, considering the Islanders’ repeated appearances in the league final, a double defeat in the Stanley Cup – champion Lightning.

• There is no time to find a new coach, and all of Trotz’s assistants are still with the team, including Lane Lambert, who many believe is ready to take on the coaching job.

“Each of our agents has a contract for next year,” Lamoriello said. “We will deal with everything properly and the new coach will have a say in any decisions that need to be made.”

• There was no difference between Lamoriello and Trotz.

At least according to Lamoriello.

“I spoke with Barry this morning,” he said. “We have, and we have, and we will have, a very good relationship. This is a business decision, in terms of hockey and success.”


Lou Lamoriello (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

But the big question – what made this move? – was left unanswered except for the fact that “the team needs new words” that are frequently mentioned in such events in professional games.

Trotz is seen around the NHL as one of the best coaches in the league. He won the Stanley Cup and Capitals competition in 2018 and won five competitions (including qualifying competitions) with the Islanders in his four years. If not enough words for the team, who could be better?

It may have been Lambert’s, although logically it seems, the group would have immediately announced Monday’s news.

This will be answered later this season, yes. In addition to finding a new coach, Lamoriello also has work to do. He also said he believes he has the right foundation but touched on what should be a priority at the end of his singing on Monday.

“We want to improve our security if we can, to the point of frustration,” he said. “If there is a way to form a hockey league, of course with our top players, we can. I think what we should do is improve our young players and the full year in some of our old teammates more than we did this year.”

The last nugget could provide information on how Lamoriello reached the decision he made on Trotz. While young players, such as Noah Dobson and Ilya Sorokin, did very well this season, some, like Oliver Wahlstrom, did not. Trotz Wahlstrom’s management was a hot topic in the second half, as did the coach’s long absence from the fighters he fought earlier in the season.

And then there is young Mathew Barzal. The 24-year-old is the most talented player on the Islanders team but has noticed his ice age has been reduced in the second half of the season. He must also sign a long-term contract in the summer as a free agent.

A source for the Islanders’ dressing room has disputed Lamoriello’s claim that the decision was made without a player, and that the general manager knows what he thinks after holding each player’s meetings shortly after the season.

“When you wait a week to fire someone, you listen to the players at their meetings,” the source said. “It simply came to our notice then. Then it took a week, he met the players, and apparently the players’ voices are heard here and that’s the result.

If the players challenged Trotz later in the season, they are not the only ones. Trotz himself was openly skeptical of how he did the strange things of the Islanders. For example, it would have been better if the team had been more relaxed and experimented a bit in January, when they had one game in 3 days until the New Year.

He also thinks the Islanders’ game, which he looks to be following, will be better for a short time, as in the 2020 playoff bubble or 2021 shortened season.

“Program 56 games (in 2021), we probably played 48 games (as) hard,” Trotz said. “Eighty-two it was difficult for us to sing those styles – a strong, solid style. And we didn’t have much time to rest.

“We had five training camps. Some of them we probably did not want because we did not think seriously about preparation. We were like a 10-day training camp (in January). Looking back, we would probably have gone five days. Sometimes you try too hard and you fail do more. ”

It would be so. Those styles could also be frustrating in the dressing room and in post-season meetings. Some players at the Islanders were not surprised by the bomb that appeared on Monday, according to a league source.

“Is it fun to play like that?” said the source. “Is it always fun to have a cane in a certain street all the time? You are not playing with instinct. It increases over time. With its style and design, you are either a healer or not. If you are not all-in, it will not work. It’s as simple as that. ”

The head of the Eastern Conference team said the same thing.

“When you play the way the Islanders play, it’s hard to play night and day, year after year,” he said. “Punishment is needed. That’s why I think teams that play like that always have to change a few pieces each year, no matter how well they do: bring a little life to the team.

“It’s a tough team to play with in defense. They don’t give you much. But it’s also hard to play with them, playing like that every night.”

However, if a change behind the bench was necessary it would be an argument. The reign of Trotz and Islanders can be considered the most successful, and he has left Long Island with his reputation as one of the best coaches in the game. Trotz, 59, is third in NHL history with a coach (914), following Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Joel Quenneville (969). In the four seasons under Trotz, the Islanders recorded a record 152-102-34 in the regular season and a 28-21 mark in the playoffs. He won the 2019 Jack Adams Trophy as the best coach in the league.

There are already speculations about where he could end up, with many saying Winnipeg Jets would be a good fit. Trotz said after the Islanders’ final game he still had a number of challenges to deal with, probably due to the death of his mother in January in Manitoba. He is from Dauphin, Manitoba, about three hours from Winnipeg.

“He’s a good teacher,” he said. “He is a winner in the Stanley Cup. He is a dangerous man. The truth is that there is no shame in failing from time to time. You lose your job because of responses, expectations, whatever. This is part of our business. it is a requirement for many owners and senior managers like Lou Lamoriello.

“Lou is about to respond, and he missed the playoffs. I think sometimes in our league everyone wanted to look at the reasons – like, there was an injury, and there was a COVID, and there were all these other things. But Lou’s history has been looking at the results. And he never did. ”

According to Lamoriello, he expects the players to answer for anyone who chooses to be the 18th head coach in franchise history.

“Elections of this kind are made for the future, not for the past,” he said. “I think it’s a team we have, they are aware right now that new words are what we need to succeed, in my opinion. Unfortunately or unfortunately, my opinion is the one that should make these decisions.”

(Photo of Barry Trotz on the bench with Zach Parise and Oliver Wahlstrom: Dave Reginek / NHLI via Getty Images)

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