New York Islanders: EWB Roundtable – Is Trotz the Coach of the Year?

New York Islanders, Barry Trotz. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
New York Islanders, Barry Trotz. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders
Robin Lehner, Scott Mayfield, New York Islanders. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Ed Stein, Site Expert, Empire Writes Back

Let’s hold on a minute here before we hand the Jack Adams Trophy to Barry Trotz once again. I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve to win, but there are still some important hockey games remaining on everyone’s schedule. Bill Peters from the Calgary Flames and John Cooper from the Tampa Bay Lightning are serious contenders to be the NHL Coach of the Year.

I lived in Nashville for nine years and watched Barry Trotz do more with fewer resources than almost every coach in the league. As further proof of his prowess as a coach (and possibly one of the miracles he performed while alive, in case he comes up for Canonization), Trotz got Alexander Ovechkin to be a two way player for the Washington Capitals, en route to last year’s Stanley Cup Championship. Despite a league title, no one was going to beat out Gerrard Gallant of Vegas.

This year it’s a different story. Trotz is literally the “Long Island Hockey Messiah.” He took a team bereft of one its all-time greats and turned them into a defensive juggernaut. Last year NYI scored 261 goals (7th) and allowed 293 Those numbers have changed to 199 goals for (21st) and the NHL’s stingiest team with 168 goals against. A worst to first performance.

In the process, he’s made fantasy studs out of players like defenseman Scott Mayfield, and Sabres cast-off, goalie Robin Lehner.

Provided things stay status quo, Trotz would be first on my ballot.