New York Islanders Three Statements Lou Lamoriello Made Good On
"“We’re going to get the best coach available. I think that we’ve been in the league long enough to know different coaches, and different coaches are for different teams. But right now, if we had the coach, he’d be here.” -Lou, NY Post (June 6th, 2018)"
Who’s better than a coach with 19 years of NHL experience, has the fourth most NHL coaching wins ever with 810, and has a fresh Stanley Cup ring on his finger? Who? Unless 85-year-old Scotty Bowman is ready to step behind an NHL bench again, the answer is no one was better than Barry Trotz.
Barry Trotz was the best coach available, and the New York Islanders got him. He wasn’t going to come cheap – a rumored $4 million per year – but for once the Islanders decided that paying for coaching was a wise investment. Typically, the Islanders go for a cheaper option. A lower rung NHL coach, an up-and-comer from the AHL, or a guy with absolutely no coaching experience at all (like Doug Weight).
Bringing in Barry Trotz was a resounding success for the Islanders.
Barry Trotz was able to turn a team that was the worst defensive unit in the league into the best defensive team in the league, within a year. All while losing defenseman Calvin de Haan to free agency and bringing in Luca Sbisa. That’s not a one-for-one swap. Calvin de Haan is a quality defender, while Sbisa in all fairness is not.
By applying a defensive structure that kept teams to the perimeter and reduced high-danger chances, the New York Islanders had success in 2018-19. With Trotz behind the bench, they were able to amass 103 points in the regular season, return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015-16, and got the Islanders second playoff series win in 26 years.
Lou wanted the best coach available, he got the best coach available, and he showed us all why that was important.