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Abel to Yzerman

Barry Trotz Could Be A Fit For The Wings

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

The New York Islanders’ decision to fire Barry Trotz could alter the look of the Detroit Red Wings’ coaching search.

First, the Red Wings could be interested in a proven coach like Trotz. Second, one of the Islanders’ possible Trotz replacements is Lane Lambert. He is a plausible Detroit coaching candidate because he is a highly respected assistant coach. Also, Yzerman knows Lambert from their days together as Detroit Red Wings players. Lambert has been Trotz’s right-hand man.

Trotz’s dismissal comes as a shock.  GM Lou Lamoriello said he believed the Islanders needed a new voice.

GM Steve Yzerman indicated he will be open-minded when it comes to choosing a replacement for Jeff Blashill. He’s not looking for a specific type of coach. However, one of the team’s priorities is improving the team’s defensive ability. Last season, the Red Wings ranked last in dangerous scoring chances given up. They were second-to-last in with a 3.78 goals-against average.


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Christmas came early? I have been dreaming of Trotz coming here for years.
He was taking no name Nashville team to the playoffs every year. He won the cup with the Capitals. He led the Islanders to ECF and their biggest star is Barzel?

Posted by VPalmer on 05/09/22 at 01:42 PM ET

d ca's avatar

If this is a direct action because of the Lane Lambert/ SY connection then Lou Lamoriello certainly didn’t do the expected in extending him:

As for the assistant coaches — a group that includes associate coach Lane Lambert and goaltending coach Mitch Korn, people who have worked with Trotz for a long period — Lamoriello would only say they were under contract for next season, though the new coach will have a say in whether that remains the case.

SY has always talked about the difficulty in firing friends if necessary….Trotz’s availability may help him avoid this potential. And as a bonus if the NYI get a coach that wants his own staff: it is possible that Lambert may be persuadable to join a Trotz staff in Detroit as an assistant.

Posted by d ca on 05/09/22 at 02:06 PM ET

Paul's avatar

from Kevin Kurz of The Athletic,

Trotz is regarded around the NHL as one of the league’s best coaches. He won a Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018 and won five playoff rounds (plus a qualifying round) with the Islanders in his four seasons. If he isn’t a good enough voice for this team, who could possibly be a better one?

Perhaps it’s Lambert, although logic would seem to dictate that if it was, the team would have announced it concurrently with Monday’s news.

That will be answered at some point this offseason, of course. And along with finding a new coach, Lamoriello also has work to do to alter the roster. He has said he believes he has the correct core in place but touched on what his priorities might be at the end of his call Monday.

“We’d like to improve our defense if we can, as far as offensively,” he said. “If there’s a way of making a hockey deal, certainly with our forwards, we would do that. I think what we have to do is get improvement out of our younger players and also a more complete year out of some of our veterans than we did this year.”

That last nugget could offer insight into how Lamoriello came to the decision he did regarding Trotz. While young players, like Noah Dobson and Ilya Sorokin, did take huge strides this year, others, like Oliver Wahlstrom, did not. Trotz’s handling of Wahlstrom was a particularly hot-button topic throughout the second half, as was the coach’s long leash for veterans who struggled in the early part of the season.

And then there’s also the still-young Mathew Barzal. The 24-year-old forward is the most individually talented player on the Islanders’ roster but saw his ice time and role reduced over the second half of the season. He is also eligible to sign a long-term contract extension this summer as a restricted free agent.

more (paid)

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/09/22 at 03:37 PM ET

Paul's avatar

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

“I think we’re settled in here. My kids are in school until June and that’s not gonna change regardless of what happens,” Staal said. “Going into the summer, it’s like anything. If I go to free agency, then I go to free agency and we’ll see what happens there…Obviously you would like more stability when you have family and kids, because there’s a lot more planning involved with moving schools and all that stuff that goes along with it. It’s just the nature of the business.”

There’s no doubt the Red Wings want to re-sign him. He’s a pro’s pro, a valuable leader, a quality teacher for younger player. He plays hard every game.

But Yzerman has other factors to consider, such as whether he plans to bring in another veteran defenseman like he did last season when he acquired Nick Leddy. Holdovers Moritz Seider and Filip Hronek currently own two of the spots on the defense. He has to decide where Jake Walman and Gustav Lindstrom fit into the team. He needs to make sure he has roster room for rookie Simon Edvinsson if he makes the team. Does Yzerman keep a roster spot open in case Albert Johansson or Eemil Viro make the team? He will at least have to think about that before he decided about Staal.

Yzerman respects Staal and will likely try to find a spot for him. But there are no guarantees.


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/09/22 at 03:39 PM ET


That is retread I would love too see wear the Wheel.

Posted by pnwwing on 05/09/22 at 03:41 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Pierre LeBrun tweet,

Barry Trotz will take at least a week to collect his thoughts and ponder his next move.  Will his NHL future feature a management role somewhere or back to coaching? TBD.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/09/22 at 03:48 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Trotz’s handling of Wahlstrom was a particularly hot-button topic throughout the second half, as was the coach’s long leash for veterans who struggled in the early part of the season.


Posted by TreKronor on 05/09/22 at 03:59 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Trotz indicated in his media availability after the final Islanders game that he had a number of personal tasks to take care of in the offseason, and he is originally from the Winnipeg area.

Sounds like Wings fans shouldn’t get their hopes up as Winnipeg has an opening for a head coach too.


Posted by d ca on 05/09/22 at 04:04 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 05/09/22 at 03:59 PM ET

Wahlstrom scored like 3 goals since the All-Star break (basically he made Zadina look productive) so Trotz kept cutting his ice time until he was healthy scratched twice in the last few weeks of the season. They were trying to make the playoffs and still had a chance because of games delayed due to COVID until very late in the season.

Trotz often cited poor puck management in explaining why he was upset with Wahlstrom’s play — that made for a long end to the season. Trotz tried putting him on a line with Mathew Barzal, a duo that had potential on paper, but despite a few promising moments, it didn’t work consistently.

...sounds exactly like Zadina…maybe a hockey swap of both for a change of scenery is in order….Wings need a centre and have too many wingers….a draft pick or prospect would balance the exchange.

Posted by d ca on 05/09/22 at 04:11 PM ET


long leash for veterans who struggled

Would be the case with every veteran coach it seems especially those who were with those veteran guys for several years.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/09/22 at 04:17 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Trotz coaching the likes of Seider, Raymond, Nedeljkovic, Edvinsson, Cossa, and Larkin?

Intriguing to say the least.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 05/09/22 at 05:19 PM ET

WingDingy's avatar

That Trotz is defensively minded is music to my ears.  The Wings have been beyond awful inside their own blue line…one of the reasons Nadeljkovic is a much better goaltender than his numbers show.  Accountability can make up for some of those deficiencies while Yzerman retools the defense.

Posted by WingDingy on 05/09/22 at 05:41 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Trotz often cited poor puck management in explaining why he was upset with Wahlstrom’s play
...sounds exactly like Zadina…
Posted by d ca on 05/09/22 at 04:11 PM ET

Sounds nothing like Zadina outside of the lack of scoring, Zadina was actually a pretty good transporter of the puck, didn’t make a lot of terrible decisions, he just didn’t pick corners when he shot, or took too long to get shots off at the NHL level.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 05/09/22 at 06:13 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I will, however, say that Yzerman has said that he will wait until after the playoffs are over to make a coaching decision.  There is no guarantee that Trotz will still be on the board before then.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 05/09/22 at 06:19 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Sean Gentile of The Athletic with teams that would have interest or not.

Red Wings: Max Bultman covered this in more detail, but Steve Yzerman had no problem tipping his hand a bit after announcing that Jeff Blashill wouldn’t return. He wants a new coach who can address the team’s glaring defensive issues (fourth-worst in the league in goals against and expected goals against). That, friends, is Barry Trotz’s specialty. He’d fit, and the returns would come quick. He’d also be agreeing to take over a roster that’s still a season or two away, so the ball is in his court.

more ($$$) teams

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/09/22 at 08:04 PM ET

Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

Mixed emotions from me.

The positives in his tenure:

*  In year one, I seem to recall NYI slicing 100 goals off their goals against total from the year prior…in his first NYI season behind the bench.

*  Three playoff appearances in 4 seasons. 2 ECF Finals, losing to eventual champ

*  Development of some key players (Dobson, Barzal, Pelech, Pulock, Mayfield, Sorokin among others)

*  Creation of an identity to play up to


Lower scoring team in the NHL

Over-reliance on veteran players

reluctance to play young players (a common refrain from his Caps days)

I feel the style of play that Trotz wanted to play is just not sustainable over 82 game season. 

Two events I find interesting in the announcement (regarding timing)  is it occurred after exit interviews and 1 business day after they dinged our accounts for the first season ticket payment..

Lots of grumbling in NYI land.  Currently - all assistant coaches are under contract to the Isles - they each have one year remaining.

I just hope we keep the goalie coaches intact. 

Now, the ball is squarely in Lou’s corner.  I loved Trotz, but my friends who are Caps fans warned us about these flaws in Trotz. 

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 05/09/22 at 08:06 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

He took a team that gave up the most goals in the NHL and made them a Jennings Trophy winner. And Islanders fans appreciated that structure and took pleasure in being the stingiest, most stifling team in the league.


Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 05/09/22 at 08:12 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

I feel like Lambert is more of a top choice for Stevie bkz they know each other very well, and he’s touted as being ready for the top job somewhere, more than bkz he’s a Trotz protégé. The question now is, will Lou not allow his staff to talk to other orgs, since they’re under contract? Seems if he wanted Lambert to have the job, he’d have said so right away.

Posted by Steeb on 05/09/22 at 08:59 PM ET

Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

Traditionally, most GMs would not hold up an assistant from getting a head coaching job.  In fact, this language might be in his contract.  For a promotion, I think if Y wanted Lane, and Lane wanted DET - that would happen somehow.

I am 100% against allowing the goaltending duo of coaches (Mitch Korn and Piero Greco) from leaving Long Island.  They have been stellar.  Ask Greisser, Lehner, Varly and Sorokin.

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 05/09/22 at 09:02 PM ET

jhpcarrier97's avatar

Cut from Scotty Bowman material!

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 05/09/22 at 09:05 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 05/09/22 at 09:02 PM ET

If it is a promotional step upward the organization can’t because of antitrust laws. One of the ways they measure it is if it is a step upward increases salary. So it wouldn’t matter if the team’s GM wants to keep them as assistants or not—-if they are offered head coaching jobs they can leave. And the new CBA doesn’t even require draft picks any more.


Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain’s Ship on 05/09/22 at 06:13 PM ET

You glossed over the shot missing and the puck going the other way plus being moved up to the top line only and having a few moments but not clicking….

so yes, just like I said sound like Zadina.

Posted by d ca on 05/09/22 at 10:08 PM ET


Forgot to mention earlier, but if he wanted to
follow Trotz (or Lambert?) Mitch Korn would
be a tremendous add.

That Korn has gone everywhere with Trotz
is not only significant in itself, but of course
Korn has to be considered a part of Trotz’s success.

Whoever the goalies are, whatever their age or nationality,
or size or tendencies, Korn makes them better.

It’s really unusual to have a situation like this where not only
is one of the best coaches in the league available, but his lead
assistant is coveted, too, in his own right, and the goalie coaches have to be
attracting attention across the league.

Even if it’s just Trotz or just Lambert, though, each has to be high on SY’s list.

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/10/22 at 12:21 AM ET

ChillDistiller's avatar

I saw a recent article that claimed Steve didn’t hire Gallant because he didnt want to fire him. If true, then don’t expect Lambert.

Posted by ChillDistiller from Michigan on 05/10/22 at 01:03 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Steve didn’t hire Gallant because he didnt want to fire him.

That ole boys club!

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/10/22 at 07:36 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com

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