Barry Trotz was not out of work for long.
Less than a week after resigning from the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, the New York Islanders officially announced on Thursday afternoon that Trotz has been hired as their next head coach.
“Barry brings to the New York Islanders franchise a tremendous amount of knowledge, experience, and success,” general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a team statement.
“He is and has been one of the top coaches in the National Hockey League. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with him.”
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 is latest move in what has already been a franchise-altering summer for the Islanders.
Along with the hiring of Trotz, the Islanders also replaced general manager Garth Snow after years of perpetual mediocrity by bringing in Lamoriello after he left the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.
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.