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Barry Trotz Gets Benched

By Abhiveer Singh

The NHL consists of 32 teams, with the New York Islanders being one of them. The team is famous for winning four Stanley Cups in a row in the 1980s, known as their “glory days” and is motivated to win more in the future. Recently, the Islanders’ owner, Jon Ledecky, and general manager, Lou Lamoeriello, fired their head coach, Barry Trotz because they believed it would help the team be more successful.

Trotz started his coaching career with the Nashville Predators in 1997, who he coached until 2014. In fact, his tenure with the Predators is one of the longest coaching tenures in the entire NHL and one of the longest in the history of the sport. Later on, after getting fired from his position with the Predators, he took his talents to the Washington Capitals and, most recently, the Islanders. The Islanders missed the playoffs this year, finishing the season with a record of 37 wins and 35 losses, which left questions unanswered about how this could have happened.

The New York Islanders' management was not satisfied with the performance of the team this season and decided that it was time to make changes. They decided to fire their coach, Trotz, who had been occupying the head coach position since 2018. The management believes that perhaps changing coaches may help bring positive reform and changes for the team next season. The general manager of the Islanders, Lamoriello, said he felt the team needed "a new voice." Trotz, prior to this season, helped lead the Islanders to the Eastern Conference finals in 2020 and 2021, before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I think it is sad to see him go; however, it is good to see a change in our staff,” sophomore Erik Gliszczynski said.

Artwork by Debarati Chowdhury

As the Islanders' season comes to an end, Coach Trotz reaps the consequences.

Some of the reasons why the team was unable to reach the playoffs were not under the control of the former coach like COVID-related absences, injuries and playing 13 straight away games at the start of the season. Even though recent events may paint Trotz as a bad coach, he has had significant positive effects on the Islanders as a whole. Under his guidance, the Islanders were able to go 152-102-34 in the regular season and 28-21 in the playoffs. This is the most success the New York Islanders have had in the last two decades.

Trotz was replaced by Lane Lambert, who had been the assistant coach for the New York Islanders for the past few years while Trotz was the head coach. Lambert was also a former NHL player from 1983 to 2001 and was the 25th pick when he was drafted. After having a long career in the NHL, Lambert decided to try his luck in the coaching world, where he sees himself now living.

"When I first heard the news that Barry Trotz was fired, I remember thinking that this cannot be real," senior Lauren Printz said. "It all came as a complete shock due to the team's success in the past four seasons with Trotz as a head coach."

There were many rumors about him having problems with some players, and he was giving many young players way too little playing time compared to what they deserved. Overall, Trotz was a coach loved by many and disliked by others. However, there is no denying that he has had a phenomenal career as an NHL coach and many people are excited to see what he does next.


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