After 15 seasons with the Nashville Predators, Barry Trotz won’t be the head coach anymore.
Predators GM David Poile announced this afternoon that after two consecutive seasons out of the playoffs, Trotz’s contract would not be extended past this season and they will seek out a new coach for the first time since the Predators were founded in 1998.
Poile was emotional making today’s statement:
Trotz was offered a position with the organization’s hockey operations department but after being the only head coach the team has had, he may want to take a break from things in Nashville. Trotz will also likely have a host of suitors this summer with coaching vacancies possibly opening up in Vancouver and Toronto.
During Trotz’s tenure in Nashville, the Predators made the playoffs in seven of his 15 seasons behind the bench. The Preds reached the Western Conference semifinals in back-to-back seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Since then, the Preds have fallen back to the pack and amassed 88 points this season, good for sixth place in the Central Division. The 38 wins the Predators earned this year were the fewest in an 82-game season since 2003-04. Coincidentally enough, that was the first season Nashville made the playoffs.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.