Barry Trotz was not out of work for long.
Less than a week after resigning from the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, Trotz is on the verge of joining the New York Islanders to become their next head coach, according to multiple reports, including TSN’s Darren Dreger and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Trotz left the Capitals organization after an incredibly successful four-year run because he and the team could not come to financial terms on a contract.
Previously thought to be without a contract after this past season, it was revealed after the Capitals’ Stanley Cup win that his deal included a clause that automatically kicked in a two-year contract extension if the team won the Cup. That extension reportedly brought his contract value to $1.8 million per season which would have been well below market value for a coach with Trotz’s resume. With the two sides unable to come to terms on a more lucrative deal, Trotz resigned and the Capitals gave him the opportunity to seek employment elsewhere.
At the moment Trotz’s options were extremely limited as the Islanders were the only other team in league without a head coach. It seemed like a given that the Islanders would have interest as they attempt to overhaul their organization after missing the playoffs for the second year in a row and third time in five years.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Trotz’s deal with the Islanders could pay him around $4 million per year over five years.
This would be the latest move in what has already been a franchise-altering summer for the Islanders.
Along with the potential hiring of Trotz, the Islanders also replaced general manager Garth Snow after years of perpetual mediocrity by bringing in Lou Lamoriello.
Now the Islanders have to try and figure out a way to make their biggest move of the offseason and re-sign franchise player John Tavares before he hits the open market as a free agent on July 1.
If they can make that happen there is a lot to like about this job if you are Trotz. There is a lot of talent to work up with up front with (potentially) Tavares, NHL rookie of the year Mat Barzal, Anders Lee, and Jordan Eberle, while they also have a ton of early draft capital to potentially make a deal this weekend and add to that.
One addition you have to assume would be a goaltender where obvious candidate could be current Washington Capitals backup Philipp Grubauer.
No matter what they do this offseason regarding the roster, the additions of Lamoriello and Trotz certainly change the look of the organization.
During Trotz’s four-year run with the Capitals the team won more regular season games than any team in the NHL, won back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies in 2015-16 and 2016-17, and then finally won the Stanley Cup in 2017-18.
The Islanders home opener for this upcoming season will take place on Oct. 6 against the Nashville Predators … the very first team that Trotz coached in the NHL.
The Carolina Hurricanes could look a whole lot more different in the coming days than they do right now.
The ‘Canes, who own the second overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, are apparently open for business. They have a new head coach in Rod Brind’Amour, a new general manager in Don Wadell and they have a whole bunch of players they’re seemingly willing to move.
The team hasn’t made the postseason in nine years, which a lot for any kind of market but especially a non-traditional hockey one.
New owner Tom Dundon will want to get the ball rolling and the only way to do that is by making changes.
The team has two significant needs. First, they have to find a go-to guy that can shoulder the load offensively. Second, they need to find someone that can stop the puck consistently because Scott Darling‘s first year was mediocre at best.
Waddell has made it clear that winger Andrei Svechnikov will be the second pick in the draft unless they decide to ship the pick elsewhere for immediate help. The ‘Canes have some talented forwards like Sebastian Aho, Jeff Skinner, Teuvo Teravainen and Elias Lindholm, but, as we mentioned, they don’t have a game-breaker that can change the outcome of a game on a dime. Svechnikov can be that guy, or he can be used as a key piece in a trade for that kind of scorer.
If the Hurricanes absolutely want to keep the pick (they should), there’s other ways they can acquire a talented forward. Carolina has an abundance of quality defensemen, so there’s a deal that could be made around Justin Faulk or Noah Hanifin, too. Plenty of teams are looking for help on the back end, which means they could be interested in either player.
And of course, there’s the possibility that they could use some of their own forwards to fill their needs. Skinner’s name has come up more than once in trade circles. The 26-year-old is coming off a season that saw him score 24 goals and 49 points in 82 games. He’s also found the back of the net at least 24 times in four of his last five seasons.
The problem, is that Skinner only has one year remaining on his contract. He’ll make $5.725 million in 2018-19, but based on the numbers he’s put up over the last five years, he should get a raise. Are the Hurricanes comfortable giving him a long-term deal for that kind of cash? That’s a huge factor in the decision they have to make. The challenge is that Skinner has a full no-move clause in his current deal.
No matter what management decides to do, there’s no denying that this is a huge week for the Hurricanes. They’ve got cap space, assets to trade and some huge holes to fill. Getting that fan base excited again has to be a huge priority, and they have a good opportunity to make that happen with a couple of key transactions.
They can’t afford to whiff on this golden opportunity.
Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• With the draft just over a day away, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek breaks down his mock draft. Where will the Habs go at number three? (Sportsnet)
• You can compare Marek’s mock draft to McKeen’s lead prospect writer Ryan Wagman’s mock draft. Both Marek and Wagman have the same top three prospects, but things change starting at number four. (Rotoworld)
• Hall of Famer Bob Gainey was named adviser of the OHL Peterborough. That’s where Gainey spent two years of his junior career back in the 1970s. (NHL.com)
• One of the reasons the Sabres have been so bad for so long, is because they’ve struggled to find steals in the later rounds of drafts. (Buffalo Hockey Beat)
• If the Canucks keep the seventh overall pick, should they take Noah Dobson or Evan Bouchard? Canucks Army explains why they’d take Dobson. (Canucks Army)
• The Golden Knights have become the envy of the NHL because they’re one of the better teams in the league and because they have a lot of cap space. (SinBin.Vegas)
• What should Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli be looking to accomplish in the next three days? Well, he can start by drafting a solid player at 10th overall and he can try to sign Darnell Nurse to a bridge deal. (Oilers Nation)
• Up top, check out the moment when Taylor Hall found out he won the Hart Trophy.
• And if you missed it, you’re going to want to see the Humboldt Broncos reunion at the NHL Awards:
Let’s recap the remaining winners from the 2018 NHL Awards. Before we do so, here are the other big winners and corresponding links.
Now, let’s jump into the remaining awards and honors.
Mark Messier Leadership Award
Deryk Engelland (see video above this post’s headline)
Daniel and Henrik Sedin
Of course, Alex Ovechkin won the Maurice Richard Trophy and Connor McDavid took the Art Ross.
First NHL All-Star Team
Second NHL All-Star Team