Tonight’s game against St. Louis is a fairly big one for Barry Trotz. His Predators could clinch their third straight playoff berth with a single point and, if Nashville wins outright, Trotz will record the 500th victory of his career.
That’s no small feat for the first and only head coach in Predators history. By getting 500 wins all with the same club, Trotz would join some pretty elite company, as only four coaches have ever hit that mark with one team: Al Arbour (New York Islanders), Lindy Ruff (Buffalo Sabres), Billy Reay (Chicago Blackhawks) and Toe Blake (Montreal Canadiens).
Trotz was his usual understated self when discussing the record.
“Hopefully, we can win one more game at some point,” he told The Tennessean. “I haven’t thought about it a lot. It will be a cool thing when it does happen, but I haven’t thought about it a lot.”
Other notes about Trotz (eventually) joining the 500 club:
— He’ll become just the 17th coach in NHL history accomplish the feat and, with six games left in the season, could move as high as 15 on the list. Blake currently sits in 16th with 500 wins and Pat Burns is 15th, with 501.
— Trotz would become the fourth active coach to hit 500 (Ruff, Ken Hitchcock and Joel Quenneville are the others.)
— At one point this season, there were five active 500-win coaches…but then Jacques Martin and Ron Wilson got fired.