The New York Islanders’ decision to fire Barry Trotz could alter the look of the Detroit Red Wings’ coaching search.
First, the Red Wings could be interested in a proven coach like Trotz. Second, one of the Islanders’ possible Trotz replacements is Lane Lambert. He is a plausible Detroit coaching candidate because he is a highly respected assistant coach. Also, Yzerman knows Lambert from their days together as Detroit Red Wings players. Lambert has been Trotz’s right-hand man.
Trotz’s dismissal comes as a shock. GM Lou Lamoriello said he believed the Islanders needed a new voice.
GM Steve Yzerman indicated he will be open-minded when it comes to choosing a replacement for Jeff Blashill. He’s not looking for a specific type of coach. However, one of the team’s priorities is improving the team’s defensive ability. Last season, the Red Wings ranked last in dangerous scoring chances given up. They were second-to-last in with a 3.78 goals-against average.
Under Trotz, the Islanders ranked seventh in the league last season with a 2.82 goals-against average.
Trotz is known for his relentless defensive system. He demands accountability when it comes to defensive play. Although the Islanders didn’t make the playoffs, they reached the Eastern Conference Final in each of the two previous seasons. He coached the Washington Capitals to a Stanley Cup championship in 2018.
He is an engaging personality, a plus for an organization that now needs to market to sell all of its tickets.
Trotz is a Manitoban
It’s unknown whether Trotz , who turns 60 this summer, would be interested in a rebuilding team. The Red Wings are two or three seasons away from contending.
The list of teams actively pursuing a coach are the Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks.
Trotz is from Winnipeg, and that team was in contention for a playoff spot this season. But the Jets’ collection of young talent isn’t as strong as Detroit’s
Having spent most of his career with the Nashville Predators, Trotz is very familiar with Yzerman and the Detroit organization. The Predators considered the Red Wings one of the measuring sticks after they came into the league.
It’s possible Trotz might be interested in the Flyers to stay in the Metropolitan Division. He knows that division very having spent his recent seasons with the Islanders and Capitals.
Other teams could be looking for coaches after the playoffs. For example, Andrew Brunette is an interim coach with the Florida Panthers.