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Behind the Scenes Talk About Why Islanders Released Barry Trotz

People are still trying to figure out why the New York Islanders would fire Barry Trotz, but there’s some talk the players had some input.

There are plenty of insiders and fans trying to wrap their collective heads around the reasoning behind letting one of the best coaches in the NHL go. The New York Islanders, specifically GM Lou Lamoriello fired Trotz with one more season left on his current deal and after one bad season, much of which was impacted by COVID, injuries and a few roster changes that were not in the coach’s control.

Related: Islanders Fire Head Coach Barry Trotz in Puzzling Decision

Some 24 hours later, there is still confusion over why Trotz was released, but reports are coming out that there might have been more to this decision than “Lou just being Lou” and providing more evidence that he’s quick to fire coaches.

The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz believes some of the players on the Islanders roster were vocal during their exit interviews this season. While Lamoriello says he didn’t consult the players or ask for their opinions on whether Trotz should be back or not, what they said during those meetings may have played a major role in the decision. In other words, Lamoriello might have simply been listening to their comments.

Barry Trotz New York Islanders coach fired
Barry Trotz New York Islanders coach fired

Kurz writes:

One league source with knowledge of the Islanders’ dressing room pushed back on Lamoriello’s assertion that the decision was made without any player input, pointing out that the general manager surely knew what they were thinking after holding the standard individual player meetings immediately after the season.

He also notes that Trotz even questioned some of his own decisions after the season. He openly wondered if he’d handled some of the Islanders’ strange circumstances properly, including, but not limited to more resting and fewer practices in January when the team had only one game in 13 days.

To say the least, it was an odd year and the players, coaching staff and management are likely all trying to find reasons it went so downhill for a team that made the Eastern Conference Finals twice and had a Jack Adams award winner backing them.

Many Organizations Will Say Trotz Isn’t To Blame

One thing is clear and that is that Trotz will be a popular man this offseason. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, says the former Islanders’ coach will take a week to collect his thoughts and ponder his next move. “Will his NHL future feature a management role somewhere or back to coaching?” LeBrun asks.

There are already teams rumored to be lining up for a conversation. Among them, the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets, and possibly the Vegas Golden Knights if they choose to move on from Pete DeBoer.

Next: Patrick Marleau Says Goodbye To the NHL, Officially Retires



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