The decision to move on came as a surprise as Trotz had led the Islanders to three straight playoff appearances before this past season — including back-to-back appearances in the Eastern Conference final. The Islanders lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in those series.
Trotz joined the Islanders in 2018-19 after winning a championship with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals chose not to renegotiate Trotz‘s contract following the Stanley Cup, letting Trotz hit the market. In four seasons, Trotz led the Islanders to a 152-102 record (49-28 in the playoffs).
“It would be a tremendous understatement to say this was not an easy decision,” Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said on a conference call. “Unfortunately it is my role to make the best decisions for the organization. … I believe this group of players needs a new voice.”
The Islanders went 37-35-10 this past season. They had a chaotic season, missing multiple players throughout the season because of injuries and COVID-19. The team also started the year on a 13-game road trip while their new arena was being finished.
If Trotz decides to pursue another coaching job in the offseason, he‘ll likely be a hot commodity. Trotz ranks third all-time in coaching wins with 914 wins. Besides the Islanders, Trotz spent 15 seasons with the Nashville Predators and four with the Washington Capitals.
• This story is based in parts on wire reports.
• Matthew Paras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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