Islanders fire Barry Trotz in stunner

Islanders fire Barry Trotz in stunner

The Islanders announced on Monday morning that head coach Barry Trotz has been fired following a disappointing season in which the team failed to make the playoffs following two straight years of making the conference finals.

The news comes as a shock, as Trotz’s contract had one year remaining on it.

“Unfortunately it is my role to make the best decisions for the organization,” Islanders president and GM Lou Lamoriello said on a conference call. “Any type of decision like this doesn’t happen overnight. I’d rather not get into any of the reasons [for the decision] because that’s my job based on the information I have and I experienced to make these types of decisions.”

Lamoriello said Trotz’s contract situation didn’t factor into the firing. All of the assistant coaches remain under contract. Trotz’s record as Islanders coach was 152-102-34 in the regular season and 28-21 in the playoffs.

Barry Trotz was fired by the Islanders on May 9, 2022.
PA

The Islanders (37-35-10) had a disastrous season in 2021-22, prompted by a poorly timed COVID-19 outbreak that derailed them following a season-opening 13-game road trip.

With an aging roster and a salary-cap table that sees them committed to their current core — one that Trotz and players alike continually expressed belief in toward the end of the season — general manager Lou Lamoriello believed that a change was needed.

“I believe this group of players needs a new voice,” Lamoriello said. “This is not negative on Barry Trotz. He is a tremendous human being. This decision was not just primarily made this season… I cannot say enough about the working relationship we had and the personal relationship we have and it will always be there.

“These types of decisions are made for going forward and not for backward. The team is on notice right now that the new voice is what’s necessary for us to have success in my opinion.”

Barry Trotz
Barry Trotz
USA TODAY Sports

It’s not the first surprise firing of Lamoriello’s career, but it does set the Islanders up for a massive summer, in which the next moves will set the tone for an organization at a crossroads.

While there are some veterans with deep playoff runs among the available NHL coaches, it’s unclear yet what direction Lamoriello will go. Isles assistant Lane Lambert has long been thought of as a potential future head coach.

— Additional reporting by Jenna Lemoncelli

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