Firefighting coach Barry Trotz after missing the playoffs

The New York Islanders have fired coach Barry Trotz after he missed the playoffs in his fourth season with the team.

General manager Lou Lamorillo made the surprise announcement on Monday, more than a week after the regular season ended. Trotz had one year left on his five-year contract.

“It would be a massive understatement to say that this was not an easy decision,” Lamoreello said on a conference call. “Unfortunately it is my role to make the best decisions for the organization. … I think this group of players needs a new voice.”

Lamoreello declined to give reasons why he believed a new voice was needed.

Trotz coached the Islanders to appear in playoffs in each of his first three years with them, reaching the Eastern Conference Final in 2020 and 2021 before losing to eventual Stanley Cup champion Lightning.

A series of events beyond Trotz’s control contributed to the islanders’ absence from this year’s playoffs. As their new arena was nearing completion, they opened the season with a 13-game wild ride and had a string of coronavirus-related absences and injuries that derailed their season.

Lamoreello said the choice to move from Trotz was not made primarily around what happened last season. He said, “Tis definitely a business decision in terms of hockey and winning.”

Trotz joined the islanders in the summer of 2018 after winning the Stanley Cup earlier that year with Washington Capitals. The Capitals decided at the time not to rework Trotz’s contract despite the tournament and granted him his release.

He coached the Nashville Predators in their first 15 seasons, helping them reach the playoffs 17 times. His 914th regular season victories ranks him third among coaches in NHL history. Trotz can immediately become a candidate for job vacancies in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Winnipeg, as well as others opening due to availability.

Islanders now begin their search for training with a franchise amid the competition window. When asked what he was looking for in a replacement, Lamoreello said he could not answer specifically and added that there was no timetable.

Lamoreello said the players had not been consulted about the shooting, which was only known to the property before he broke the news to Trotz on Monday morning. The 79-year-old CEO said the players are “aware” to improve and win next season.

Written by Stephen Wino, hockey writer

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