NHL Rumors: Barry Trotz Turns Down Jets Offer, Won't 'Immediately' Return to Coaching

Erin WalshJune 24, 2022

ELMONT, NEW YORK - MARCH 03: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders speaks with the media prior to the game against the Vancouver Canucks at the UBS Arena on March 03, 2022 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Former New York Islanders bench boss Barry Trotz won't immediately jump back into coaching next season despite interest from a number of teams with head coaching vacancies, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

The Winnipeg Jets made Trotz an offer to become their next head coach after Paul Maurice resigned. However, Trotz has informed the franchise of his decision and "intends on continuing to focus on family," Dreger added.

Trotz has not ruled out a return to coaching entirely.

The 59-year-old also told NHL.com's Tim Campbell:

"I've got some things personally that I've got to take care of, family-wise that I've got to take care of. I didn't feel… if I'd said I'll take the job, I think I would have done any team a little bit of a disservice and myself a disservice because to be a coach in the NHL, it is demanding and it requires your all. It just does, emotionally it just does, mentally it just does. So I couldn't go down that path.

"It doesn't mean I'm not going to coach. Just not going to coach right now. I've been doing this for 25 straight years and I've put a lot of stuff on the back burner and I think it's time. The one thing I do know, and it's a mistake that everybody makes, is you think you have time and you don't. And so this is my time when I can get to a lot of things I've put on the back burner. I have to take care of those, for peace of mind for everything so I will be 100 percent in if I get back into it and I'll be a better coach for it."

Trotz was one of the most coveted head coaching candidates on the market. In addition to being offered a deal by the Jets, he also drew interest from the Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars this summer.

The Islanders announced Trotz's firing in May after the team finished fifth in the Metropolitan Division with a 37-35-10 record and missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

New York's decision to fire Trotz was met with criticism and confusion after he helped turn the Islanders around and made them one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. In his four seasons at the helm, Trotz went 152-102-34 and led the team to three straight playoff appearances from 2018-19 to 2020-21, including a berth in the Eastern Conference Final in 2020.

Speaking with reporters following Trotz's firing, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said the team needed a "new voice." However, he refused to get into specifics about the veteran coach's firing.

"I'd rather not get into any of the reasons, because that's my job upon the information that I have, and the experience to make these types of decision," Lamoriello said.

He added: "These types of decisions are made for going forward, not for the backward. With this group we have, and they're on notice right now, that new voice is necessary to have success... My opinion is what makes these decisions."

In addition to coaching the Islanders, Trotz served as head coach of the Nashville Predators for 15 seasons and spent four seasons with the Washington Capitals, winning the Stanley Cup in 2018.

The Islanders replaced Trotz with assistant Lane Lambert, who will serve as an NHL head coach for the first time.

As for the Jets, they're still searching for a new bench boss. However, The Athletic's Murat Ates reported earlier this month that former Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery was "Winnipeg’s top current target." It's unclear if he's still in the running.