Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: barry trotz
USA Today's Ted Berg spoke with the producers of Epix' version of The Road to the Winter Classic, and I guess this was inevitable...
In a small, dark room in lower Manhattan, Fritz Mitchell stares at a computer monitor as video editors tap away on computer keyboards, cuing up footage of Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.
Leonsis, interviewed in an otherwise empty hockey arena, is discussing the progress of his team's most recognizable star — forward Alex Ovechkin — and so animatedly sings the veteran's praises that Mitchell and his crew struggle to find "room tone," the arena's background hum, a note necessary for seamlessly splicing together the highlights of the interview.
"(Leonsis) seems approachable, like a regular guy," says Mitchell, a producer on the fourth season of Road to the NHL Winter Classic, which debuts [Tuesday] on Epix at 10 ET.
"We're going to make him a character," says executive producer Ross Greenburg from a couch a few feet away.
But the fact that Epix' folks claim that they want the players and coaches to "forget the cameras" after the level of--if you'll pardon me for being a blunt Red Wings fan--"embedded" journalism in HBO's 24/7 had become post-Bryzgalov guerilla journalism, i.e., "Let's try to find someone else who's wild" to the point that Mike Babcock and Ken Holland finishing each other's sentences and Todd Bertuzzi drinking beer may have been the most "human" moments of a 247 that had the Wings and Leafs stumbling their way through a December spent trying not to embarrass themselves, or be embarrassed for exploitative purposes:
“I think we’re better when we play that interior game. You put teams on notice that you’re hard to play against. Sometimes we’ve just got to paint the barn [because] sometimes we want to paint a Picasso.”
-Barry Trotz, head coach of the Washington Capitals. More from Trotz by Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.
“I don’t know if it’s staying with the game plan or whatever, but you’re in a battle. You can’t just say, ‘Okay I’m going to stop battling.’ We had a good first period or whatever. The other team’s coming out. Sometimes I get the feeling we want to play as hard as we just need to. That’s not how I operate. That’s not how you win in this league.”
-Barry Trotz, Washington Capitals head coach after losing to Arizona 6-5. More on the game from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider.
If you missed what Glenn Healy said, you can start here....
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
We’re still in the honeymoon of this relationship, with the Capitals unbeaten at 3-0-2 as they open their three-game Western Canadian swing against the Edmonton Oilers tonight. Yet it seemed fitting to ask Trotz, Washington’s fifth head coach since Ovechkin entered the league in 2005, how he plans to get the 51 goals out of his superstar winger, but shore up the minus-35 defensive rating.
“Dominik Hasek used to say, a star player starts each year at minus-10,” began the coach, referring to the desperate situations near the end of games, when a team goes all out to score and so often gives a goal up. Or the fact that the best players face the best competition, and thus, are bound to surrender more goals than someone playing against the other team’s fourth line.
“So star players start out at minus-10. How (Ovechkin) got the other minus-25, I’m not quite sure,” Trotz said with a laugh. “There are some things in his game that he is committed to change. Not all of (his deficiencies) were Alex’s fault. Some of the things he was asked to do, it probably took away from him defensively. The player that I know has been very good in all those areas.”
Normally in a column about Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals, it’s right around now where one points out that nothing this club does in the regular season matters anymore.
“I think we understand each other better.
“I think there was a little uneasiness coming in, but I think we’ve talked through everything. I don’t think there’s anything we haven’t really discussed in terms of what we need to do and why.
“We’re just starting the journey. We’re going to have some hard times; we’re going to have some good times. That’s the NHL season. It’s no different than a family. We’re starting to create a little bit of a family with our group and they’re all accountable to each other.
“Just like any family you’re not always going to be on the same page with your brothers and sisters. You still love them, but you may not agree with them all the time. We’ll have a couple of those days, but other than that we’ve made great strides.
“We have lots of work to do this year to get to where we want to be, but the foundation is there and that’s the most important thing. If you don’t have a foundation it will crumble, so we’ve been working hard on the foundation.”
-Barry Trotz, head coach of the Washington Capitals. More from Trotz by Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.
“Everybody thinks I’m going to turn him into a Selke-winner. People say he had a rotten year last year, but he still scored eight more goals than the nearest guy in the Rocket Richard race. I don’t want to disrespect his gift – the gift of scoring goals, which is one of the hardest things to do.
“I’m not going to get him to be that super-detailed Doug Jarvis type. I just need him to work defensively and have some pride in getting the puck back. That’s the way I’ve talked to him. Get the puck and score, but if we don’t have the puck, I want a plan to get it back quickly so we can go score again.”
-Barry Trotz, head coach of the Washington Capitals on Alex Ovechkin. More from Trotz by Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
You went to Las Vegas when Alex Ovechkin was there for the NHL Awards to sit down with him, have dinner with him, get to know him. Why was it important for you at the time to sit down with Ovechkin, and what did you learn from the meeting?
"You're not going to go to battle with someone you don't know. It doesn't matter what walk of life it is, whether it's business or in war. In sports it's usually a coach and player, so he understands where I'm coming from and at the same time the player recognizes where you're coming from so you get a comfort level and you can work together better. If we're going to be successful in Washington, [Ovechkin] has to be a big part of that. It's not only him, but he's a main component, a big personality, and I have to sell my vision of the team to him because he's one of the top players. In today's sport, coaches are in a partnership with their top players.
"I think it went OK. I learned a lot from that, how he thinks and how he sees the world. I know he comes from a different culture and I learned about how he views himself, how he views his job with the team. It was good. I told him what I expected. I had a bunch of questions written down and we sort of went through them. I didn't know if there would be a language barrier so I made him read the questions and try to answer them. We had some dialogue. I learned about his family, who is important in his life.
"Every player is wired differently. Some players you know exactly where they're headed, where they're going and what they're thinking. There are other guys wired differently. It allowed me to understand the personality of Alexander Ovechkin. He's been the face of the Caps for the past eight or nine years, since he's been drafted. He gets a lot of the credit when they do well and he gets a lot of the blame when they don't, but that's the responsibility for a top guy in the National Hockey League now. If you want to be the elite guy those are the responsibilities that go with it. It was good. We spent probably four hours together, and I've talked to him a couple of times on the phone as well. I think not only coaching the player but coaching the person is very important."
read on, four more questions...
from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider,
The money ($27.5 million) raised plenty of eyebrows. So did the contract’s length (five years). But inside the organization, General Manager Brian MacLellan and Coach Barry Trotz have stood firm on their opinion that Orpik patches a blue-line hole for the Capitals, lauding the veteran’s intangibles for support.
“I know that Mac’s taken some heat on that,” Trotz said. “One of the things you get, and it’s most common, everybody looks at the points and says Brooks Orpik doesn’t have great points, so why are you paying him that? The things that Brooks Orpik does, you can’t put a value on.”...
“To me, it’s a commitment of ownership and the team saying, you know what, we’re in a good window here, let’s get the players that we want, not the players that we have to settle for, and get him because he can have an effect,” Trotz said. “And the effect is going to be in goals and assists. It’s going to be in culture and winning and attitude. And that’s what Brooks Orpik does. I listen to some of the stuff. Everybody has their opinion. They can have their opinion. It really doesn’t matter. It’s what we need, what we feel they need.”
from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider,
“I think we want some veteran guys back there to stabilize things and allow some of the younger guys to develop so you put them in the right hole,” Trotz said. “I think a right- and left-handed shot, if you know of anybody. There’s a couple D-men that we’re actually targeting that probably so are 20 other teams. Teams are smart. They lock up their core for a long period of time. The windows of those guys have changed.”
One month into the Washington gig, Trotz has finished reviewing film of the roster and seemed bullish on the young Capitals defensemen rising through the organization, such as Nate Schmidt, Patrick Wey and Connor Carrick. He also talked about being stronger around the net, leveraging position to “tie up people” when pucks are batted about. But those are matters best handled during the preseason, and Trotz knows the Capitals need to act now.
“The great thing about Washington is they have lots of assets in terms of forwards, some teams might be looking for scoring, we can do something there,” he said. “That’s really up to Mac. I think the first phase of making our team better is, I thought Mac did a good job of getting the staff in place right before the draft here. That free agency period to getting to talk to people and what have you, you’re going to talk to a free agent, he knows what the staff is. I think that’s really important.”
I kind of "stole" the prime quotes from the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column for my Malik Report overnight entry, but I smiled broadly and nearly laughed out loud form the Blog Cave while reading Holland tell Matheson the same dang thing--almost word for word--that Babcock's been repeating to journalists and radio talk show hosts who can't or won't believe that Babcock will remain with Detroit when he can coach anywhere he wants after his contract's up a summer from now:
“I don’t believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence … I believe he’s happy in Detroit, but there are options,” said Holland, whose contract is also up next July, but will certainly get a new one from owner Mike Ilitch.
Holland has got the Red Wings into the playoffs in each of his 17 seasons. There were three Stanley Cup championships in 1998, 2002 and 2008, plus a Game 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009.
Late-season rallies were required to keep a 23-year playoff streak alive while the Red Wings integrated lots of young players — Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurko, Danny DeKeyser — into the lineup each of the last two years.
“Two years ago, we won our last four games to get into the playoffs. This year, we got in again (despite a terrible run of injuries),” said Holland. “Mike’s a tremendous coach, if not the best coach in the league, then one of the best.”
Matheson's main column focuses on Babcock and Holland, but he also included this nugget of wisdom from Ottawa Senators assistant coach Perry Pern (regarding Barry Trotz's attempts to get Alex Ovechkin to "buy in" to playing defense, as Matheson addressed in a Sunday afternoon column):
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, barry+trotz, detroit+red+wings, george+mcphee, julien+brisebois, ken+holland, kris+letang, marian+hossa, mike+babcock, montreal+candiens, perry+pearn, philadelphia+flyers, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, pk+subban, pk+subban, ray+shero, washington+capitals
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Former Nashville coach Barry Trotz might want to call Scotty Bowman and ask how the greatest coach of them all, can change the spots on a scoring leopard.
In the early 90s, Bowman went about convincing his Detroit captain Steve Yzerman to park his run of 100-point seasons to become what we used to call a “two-way player” and now we refer to as playing “a 200-foot game.” Stevie Y had been around for about 10 years, had one 155-point season, but for all his points, he hadn’t won any team prize...
Trotz has the same task with Alex Ovechkin in Washington. Everybody knows he’s the elephant in the room there. Two Hart trophies, four 50-goal seasons, one of 65. No Cups, nary a playoff game past the second round since he was drafted first in 2004. Ovie isn’t selfish. He’s stubborn. He longs to carry the Cup around the ice just like his Russian countrymen Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh and Pavel Datsyuk in Detroit.
But he’ll need a coach to tell him how, without neutering him.
Trotz, who agreed that Ovechkin gets too much credit when the Caps win and too much blame when they lose.
“Like a coach,” joked Trotz, speaking on his cell while riding in a cab to the airport in Washington Friday.
It’s finding the balance with Ovechkin. He knows the talented ones often “want to do it my way.”
ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick will introduce senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan and head coach Barry Trotz to the media on Tuesday, May 27, at 12:30 p.m. ET at Verizon Center.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have promoted Brian MacLellan to senior vice president and general manager and named Barry Trotz as the team’s coach, majority owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick announced today.
In case you haven not been following Twitter, numerous reports state Barry Trotz is getting close as the new head coach of the Washington Capitals.
The New York Rangers' salary structure is quite top-heavy, so both the Rangers' beat writers and those following the team from afar have suggested that the Rangers will have to use a cap-compliance buyout on either Rick Nash or Brad Richards.
The combination of Brad Richards' resurgence under Alain Vigneault (to the tune of 51 points for his Capgeek-listed $6.67 million cap hit) and Rick Nash's struggles (39 points in 63 games and a no-show come playoff time for a cap hit of $7.8 million) have those in the know suggesting that Nash is the odd man out.
This morning, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson wonders where Nash's game went given that the 6'4," 213-pound winger's become a perimeter player in the first of three "Hockey World" columns:
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Tags: adam+oates, alex+tanguay, antti+niemi, barry+trotz, brad+richards, colorado+avalanche, marian+hossa, new+york+rangers, paul+holmgren, philadelphia+flyers, rick+nash, ryan+miller, san+jose+sharks, scotty+bowman
Watch part of the press conference below, via the Tennessean...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So Barry Trotz is out as the Nashville Predators’ head coach after 15 seasons at the helm, the longest-tenured coach in the league finally paying the price for two consecutive playoffs absences. What Trotz could have done differently to keep Pekka Rinne healthy is a question for another day, but the overriding sense was that the Predators were going to make a coaching move after this year unless they miracle playoff run.
The name most closely linked to Nashville is that of former Philadelphia Flyers’ coach Peter Laviolette, with whom David Poile, the Nashville Predators’ president of hockey operations and general manager, has a good relationship with through their USA Hockey backgrounds.
Trotz immediately goes to the top of the list of possible replacement for other teams that did not immediately fire coaches Monday morning. Could he be a fit in Vancouver, for example, if the Canucks ultimately decide to part ways with John Tortorella? Trotz has all of Tortorella’s experience, but a far greater ability to work with players and get the most out of them. If the plan in Vancouver is to retool rather than rebuild and hope the Sedins bounce back in a meaningful way, then Trotz could be a good choice.
Nashville, Tenn. (April 14, 2014) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager announced today that Barry Trotz’s coaching contract will not be extended and that the organization will immediately begin a search to identify a new head coach for the 2014-15 season. Trotz has been offered a position within the organization’s hockey operations department and will consider his options before making a decision on the position.
from Josh Cooper of the Tennessean,
The only head coach in Nashville Predators history so far will not be back next season.
Barry Trotz will not return for a 16th season with the team, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Trotz has been with the Predators since the franchise's first game in 1998, hired by general manager David Poile to steward a rag-tag group of players plucked in the expansion draft mixed with younger prospects.
Featuring Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz.
from Patrick Helper of Predlines,
My question is this. If the Predators miss the playoffs again this year, could it be the last time Predators fans see Trotz behind the bench?
I’m not calling for his head. I’m not trying to start an anti-Trotz movement. I’m simply saying that after last years miss, and the changes that were made to the coaching staff and training staff; there is a possibility that Barry takes the fall if the Predators miss again....
Look at it this way, if Lindy Ruff can be fired, why not Barry Trotz? I can’t help but think it may be Win or Go Home.
“I know some guys are playing over their heads, some guys quite clearly can’t play at this level, that’s plain and simple. We’re going to sort that out and go from there. Some guys, I’m not happy with their game. They have to give us more. And I can go top to bottom. There’s some guys in that locker room who can give us a lot more, and that’s the part that bothers me.”
-Barry Trotz, head coach of the Nashville Predators via Josh Cooper of The Tennessean.
“As I said, our best players have to be our best players and they weren’t in the first two games,” he said. “For spurts they were, more so in the first game than the second one. We’re going to need production from everyone in the lineup. Our top players have to be our top players and so far, that’s not the case. We’re getting beat with our own formula: good goaltending, a healthy dose of team defense and a healthy dose of work ethic and we’ve got to get back to our game a little bit.”
-Barry Trotz, head coach of the Nashville Predators. More on the Preds from John Manasso at NHL.com,
from Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal,
(Barry) Trotz is one of just four coaches in expansion-team history to have a record better than .500. (His all-time points percentage is .534.) Tom Coughlin, who coached the Jacksonville Jaguars for their first eight years, is his closest competitor, going 68-60 (.531) and twice reaching the conference-title game.
Because expansion teams usually struggle at first, their initial coaches typically don’t last long. More than 79% were dumped within their first four seasons. Trotz, who is in his 13th, is the only one to last a full decade.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer
From Ken Wiebe via Slam Sports:
The end result saw Tootoo enter the NHL’s substance abuse program last December and emerge with a clearer mind and an improved game.
“He’s got his life in order,” said Predators head coach Barry Trotz. “He’s had a lot of demons and a lot of things that get in the way. If you’re your life and your head is not clear, then it’s just full of clutter. You don’t have the motivation, you don’t have the instinct, all of those things. He couldn’t grow as a hockey player anymore.
“When he came back, I thought he had the best stretch of his career. Not only is he still a force with the physical contact and as a tough, game-changing type of guy. But those skills that we knew he always had, are starting to come to the forefront. He’s capable of producing a lot, he’s capable of being a higher contributing guy in our lineup and he wants to do that. He’s very proud of the fact he had to change his life and it’s not really easy.”
So what was it that led the 28-year-old Tootoo to realize that he needed to get help?
“There comes a point in life where you have to take a few steps back and reevaluate your whole situation,” said Tootoo, whose older brother Terrence committed suicide in August of 2002.
“I watched the film and then I slept like a baby — I woke up every two hours and cried.”
Nashville coach Barry Trotz, reflecting on his team’s game last night.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
Trotz spent much of our conversation talking about the NHL’s looney-tunes points system that makes it virtually impossible for teams to gain ground in the standings during the second half of the season.
“At the end of the year, I’d love to see the games sorted out and the standings re-jigged to reward teams that won in regulation,” said Trotz, noting he’s brought it up with his GM, David Poile, in the past. “He just kind of looks at me and says, ‘Well, some teams will wind up with 150 points if we do things that way.’ And I say, ‘Who cares? If you’re a team like Detroit that wins a lot in regulation and you recognize and reward them for that, that just means they’re really good.’ ”
more & some HHOF talk too…
from Scott Taylor of the National Post,
When Steve Yzerman was named general manager of Canada’s 2010 Olympic hockey team, it was assumed by some that Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock would be named Canada’s next head coach.
Hearing Babcock’s name was somewhat refreshing considering that for so long the same names always seemed to come up—Pat Quinn, Ken Hitchcock, Marc Crawford, Andy Murray.
While Babcock, with his experience handling the highly-skilled members of the Red Wings, would be a terrific choice, so too would a guy who would love to answer his country’s call.
“There is nothing more exciting or more rewarding than playing or coaching a national team,” Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz said. “I’ve done it twice at the world championships and they were both among the greatest experiences of my life. “
From Mark McGee at the Nashville Daily News:
Predators coach Barry Trotz is giving [Jordin] Tootoo the chance to work on two of the top lines in training camp. He has been teamed with Jason Arnott and J.P Dumont and with David Legwand and Martin Erat.
“If you are going to be a top-six forward then you have to play with top players,” Trotz said. “I want to give him more time with the higher end offensive players and with the hard-working two way players like Scott Nichol and Vern Fiddler.
“He’s getting there. We know he can shoot. And he gets on the fore check hard. But he is a lot more poised with the puck. He has a lot of ability. We are just trying to reinforce that with him.”
from Mike Sielski of phillyBurbs,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin — two of the three most dynamic offensive forces in the NHL — playing on separate lines. So, the core question of this series was put to Trotz on Tuesday afternoon: If you were John Stevens, would you match Timonen against Crosby or Malkin?
“Wow,” Trotz, the head coach of Timonen’s former team, the Nashville Predators, said over his cell phone. “Which devil do you want to dance with? The Penguins will probably play Crosby with [Marian] Hossa, so I’d play him against them. ... The best way to answer is, whatever player whose game you think you need to take away most, that’s the guy to put Kimmo on. He can really take people’s games away from them.”
On today’s NHL conference call for the media, the guests were Buffalo Sabres’ coach, Lindy Ruff, and Nashville Predators’ coach Barry Trotz. The coaches were invited to help preview the semifinal round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Here is the transcript from the Q&A.
Q. I wanted to ask you both, if you were to make a pick here of the final four teams in each conference, why wouldn’t you pick the team that did best against your own team? For instance, Buffalo did well against Montreal and Philly but 0-4 against both Pittsburgh and the Rangers. Nashville did well against Detroit and Colorado but 0-4 against San Jose, and 3-1 against Dallas.
from David Climer of the Tennessean,
What’s taking so long? More than a month ago, word leaked out that a new contract was forthcoming. Majority owner David Freeman was on board, saying that Trotz “has done an outstanding job in a very challenging situation.”
Then nothing happened. It made you wonder if somebody had inserted a Playoffs Or Bust clause into the deal.
Well, the Preds are in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. And of those four, this is the most unlikely team to make the postseason.
These Predators are relying on a goalie, Dan Ellis, who looks skinny before the game and downright emaciated afterward.
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
The Predators had all the look of a Dead Franchise Walking, after a fire sale of several of its top players and a stormy ownership change in which a Canadian billionaire tried in vain to hijack the team to Hamilton.
One month and just four victories into the season, you could hear the “I told you so’s” from Tennessee to Timbuktu.
“Everybody had written us off,” Trotz, reached in St. Louis, was saying yesterday.
If they can pull it off in their last two games, the NHL’s coach of the year might just be a born-and-bred Manitoban who penned hockey’s version of the Music City Miracle.
via the Tennessean,
“We’re in a playoff hunt right now,’’ Trotz said. “We need good goaltending. It’s so disheartening on the bench when we let bad goals happen.’‘
“We’re up 1-0 to start the second period and I think we’re feeling pretty good,’’ Trotz said. “We come out of the locker room with confidence and then a feeble wrist shot from the blueline goes in. We need that save.’‘
From John Glennon’s blog at The Tennessean,
Over the past couple of months, the Predators have signed David Legwand to a six-year contract, Jordin Tootoo to a two-year contract and forward J.P. Dumont to a four-year contract. It’s time to show a little commitment to the organization’s coaches and scouting staff as well.
Predators general manager David Poile has already said new contracts are in the works for Barry Trotz and company, but it’s not clear yet what length the deals will be. The coaches have become accustomed to working on one-year pacts (they’re doing it again this season), but they deserve a little more security.
from the Winnipeg Free Press,
We put five quick questions to the Barry Trotz:
* What’s the best thing about the NHL?
Trotz: The best thing is the skill level. The speed and skill right now is amazing.
* Worst thing about the NHL?
Trotz: The officiating.
* Best team in the NHL?
Trotz: Detroit Red Wings
* Best player in the NHL?
Trotz: Pavel Datsyuk.
more on Barry Trotz…
from the Tennessean,
Barry Trotz has a new look. After years of coloring his ever-maturing locks, the Predators coach has traded his bottled brown for au natural.
The look suits the tenured coach, but even now, with his gray shining through, blue is the color that really defines him.
The son of a railroad mechanic and a restaurant employee, Trotz and his blue-collar work ethic have followed an untraditional path to the upper levels of the National Hockey League.