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Trotz looking forward to new challenge


Dauphin’s Barry Trotz was not out of a job for long after he resigned as head coach of the Washington Capitals less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.
Trotz was hired by the New York Islanders just three days after word of his resignation was made public.
When the Capitals won the Stanley Cup, June 7, it triggered a two-year extension at the original salary of the four-year contract he originally signed with Washington.
“I just felt with the way the landscape of the market was for coaches, I didn’t think it was morally right that rookie head coaches were making double what I was making. I’ve been in the league for (19) years, just won a Stanley Cup and two President’s Trophies and three division titles. Won Coach of the Year and all that,” Trotz said.
“I gave them a deal when I got there, so I could go there. And then I said, ‘I’m willing to work, but I think we should look at that, because I don’t think that should be the case’.”
Trotz emphasized his resignation was not about the money, but about principle.
“It was zero to do with money, because I had no problem walking away. I had no problem not working or taking the year off. It was about how it was handled all year,” he added.
“It was more about principle and what we had accomplished. From my standpoint, we could have lost in game seven and I could have been let go. And we had all year to talk about that and we never talked about it.”
After he formally resigned from the Capitals, it only took about half an hour before he received a call from Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello about their vacant coaching position. Trotz had reached out to his agent informing him of the situation with Washington and instructing him to reach out to people if he wanted.
The Islanders were the only team without a head coach at the time, but Trotz was not after the position.
“It didn’t take very long. I was on a plane a couple of hours later,” he said.
Before even meeting with Lamoriello, Trotz did some research on the Islanders GM, who was hired by the Islanders as their president of hockey operations, May 22, and stepped into the role of general manager, June 5.
“I knew a lot about Lou from being in the league a long time. But I called some people quickly who worked with Lou and it was about how he treated people, the respect that he gave you. To me, it was all about working with someone of his ilk in the league,” he said.
Trotz noted the situation with the Islanders is similar to when he joined Washington in that they are a strong offensive team, which struggles defensively.
“Once I talked to Lou, I felt pretty strongly that that would be a definite possibility,” he said, adding a few other teams also reached out to him.
“I was surprised at the quick response by some teams. And there was a couple of very good choices.”
The challenge of turning New York’s fortunes around and being able to work with Lamoriello, a three-time Stanley Cup champion and Hall of Famer, is what clinched the deal for Trotz to join the Islanders.
“It is probably working with the prospect of building something again. I think I like the challenge of building something. When I went to Nashville, we started from scratch and they’re a pretty good franchise now,” he said.

Doug Zywina