Trikus: Where will Barry Trotz end up in Crazy Musical Chairs?

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Tampa, Florida. The game of musical training chairs is almost over.

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The only question is where will Barry Trotz find a seat?

Will he go home to Winnipeg, go to another tournament in Boston, or try to build something long-term in Detroit?

Whatever he chooses, it’s best if a free agent coach makes a decision soon. The longer it waits, the fewer jobs will be available. In fact, Trotz’s options are slimmer than they were a few weeks ago, when half of the league seemed to have jobs.

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This was a summer of change – if not recycling – in the coaching world. Last year, 15 coaches were fired, including three temporary coaches who were let go after taking on a coaching position that has been sacked in the past 12 months.

That number could go up by the time you read this, as the Chicago Blackhawks have reportedly expressed an interest in replacing Derek King with Ryan Huska, an associate of Daryl Sutter in Calgary.

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In other words, no one is safe.

That includes Andrew Brunet, who was named earlier this month a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year with the Florida Panthers. as well as Bruce Cassidy, who led the Bruins to a sixth straight playoff appearance, and Trotz, who won five playoff rounds during his four years with the New York Islanders.

Still confused? Here’s a look at who it ended up with:

Paul Morris, Florida (replaces Andrew Brunet)

The Panthers finished as the best team in their league in each of the past two seasons. But after failing to overtake Lightning in the playoffs in each of those two years, the team parted ways with Jack Adams Award winner Andrew Brown hoping a more experienced coach could overtake them. Still, Maurice is a curious choice. Although he coached 1,685 NHL games, he never won a championship and was often criticized for not doing more with the Winnipeg team that many believed had the talent to win the cup. Also, his reputation as a media darling probably wouldn’t matter much in Florida.

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Peter Debor, Dallas (replaces Rick Bowness)

DeBoer, who was fired in Vegas after missing the playoffs with the league’s highest-scoring slate, wouldn’t have the same expectations in Dallas. In fact, the stars are a kind of puzzle. Two years ago, they went to the Stanley Cup Final. But they followed that up by missing the qualifiers in 2021 and then losing in the first round this year. With a checkered roster – defender John Klingberg is on his way out and top scorer Joe Pavlesky turns 38 next month – DeBoer may arrive at the wrong time.

Bruce Cassidy, Vegas (replaces Peter Debord)

Why the Bruins decided to break up with Cassidy is anyone’s guess. One theory is that they’re preparing to rebuild and don’t want Cassidy, who has led Boston to six straight playoffs, and hampered it by winning too many games. The Golden Knights, who missed the playoffs this year for the first time in franchise history, are in the opposite position. After adding Jack Eichel to a star roster that includes veterans Alex Pietrangelo, Max Pacioretty and Robin Lehner, they’re now in a winning position.

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John Tortorella, Philadelphia (replaces Alan Vinault)

Torts, as they are known, tend to do their best with teams that lack talent and need to work their way up to wins. In that regard, he’s a perfect fit for the Flyers who bid farewell to longtime captain Claude Giroud and haven’t had anyone score 25 goals or 55 points this season. It’s a similar scenario to what Tortorella faced in Columbus, when he took a mostly no-name roster to four straight playoffs, winning two in the process.

Lynn Lambert, New York Islands (replaces Barry Trotz)

Longtime assistant coach Trotz, who traveled with him from Nashville to Washington to New York, definitely got his promotion. But he will fill his hands. The last time he was head coach for minors was in 2011. Besides Trotz, assistant coaches John Gruden and Jim Heller have also passed away. Perhaps that will allow Lambert to reinvent the islanders, who have focused so heavily on defense, into a more fast and gun-toting team that brings Matthew Barzal back to Being the player who earned a point in every game when he won the Calder Cup under former coach Doug Witt.

mtraikos@postmedia.com

twitter.com/Michael_Traikos

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