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Maybe Barry Trotz's plan is to put his feet up for several months

June 22, 2022, 6:22 PM ET [5 Comments]
Kevin Allen
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The NHL coaching carousel is starting to slow and the biggest surprise is that the name of Barry Trotz keeps going around in circles.

Five teams have settled on new coaches, and none of those coaches are Trotz.

In case you have lost track, Lane Lambert replaced Trotz with the Islanders. The Vegas Golden Knights hired Bruce Cassidy and the Dallas Stars decided on Pete Deboer. The Philadelphia Flyers opted for John Tortorella.

Today, we are hearing Paul Maurice will be the next coach of the Florida Panthers. The interesting aspect of this revelation is that the last report we heard about Maurice was that he wasn't in a hurry to coach again after stepping down as the Winnipeg coach earlier this season.

Trotz seemed like the top coaching candidate in the marketplace. It seemed logical that the Florida Panthers would be interested in Trotz to take the team the final step in the championship process.

He seemed like a good fit for Vegas, Dallas or even Philadelphia. Trotz knows the Metropolitan Division quite well.

Did Trotz misread the marketplace? He said he wanted to take his time deciding his next move. Could slow-playing his hand leave him without a chair when the music stops?

Trotz is running out of options. The Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins seem to be looking at other candidates. GM Steve Yzerman seems interested in interviewing assistant coaches. He has a rebuilding team and maybe he wants a fresh face. The names we hear in Boston -- Jay Leach, Nate Leaman, David Quinn -- have ties to the city.

Trotz could still end up with the Winnipeg Jets. He's from Manitoba. But some of the other opportunities, frankly, were more enticing.

That makes me wonder if Trotz might be considering taking time off. He's been an NHL coach continuously since 1998. Maybe he wants to take a step back, spend time with his family and think about what he wants to do next.

He's not going to be any less desirable as a coach next season. And this is the NHL where changing coaches is like crop rotation: You do it every couple of years to keep everything healthy and productive.

Trotz has made good money for many years. He can afford to step away. Trotz turns 60 on July 15.

If he doesn't take a job now, it doesn't have to mean he's done coaching. Bruce Boudreau and Tortorella prove that NHL teams don't discriminate against age. You can step away from the game for a short while and not lose your place in line. Boudreau is 67 and got a new contract. Tortorella is 63 and landed a four-year deal.

Perhaps Trotz will end up in Winnipeg. But maybe his plan all along was to let this job-hunting be his version of a vacation. If nothing else, he could spend the time to recharge his batteries.
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