In an interview with Hockey Central, New York Islanders head coach, Barry Trotz revealed that he prefers coaching superstar talent.
It’s been just over three weeks since the New York Islanders last played a game. It was a 5-4 shootout loss on March 10, and ever since then, we’ve been itching for some Islanders content.
Well, Barry Trotz gave us a little juice, when he hopped on Hockey Central to talk about the Islanders, the Coronavirus, and his coaching career. In this 18 minute interview, he gives some solid insight into the Islanders 2019-2020 season.
While I highly recommend listening to the entire thing one thing that jumped out to me was when he was asked about coaching superstars vs a team with more depth players (like the Islanders).
“I’d love superstars,” he says after thinking for a moment. I mean, what coach wouldn’t. Of course, he’s done a great job with the Isles who have one star and a good crop of solid NHL players. His most recent stop before the Islanders he had multiple stars.
Barry Trotz does a good job of getting the most out of his players, that’s pretty obvious. For example in Washington, Braden Holtby went from okay to elite for a three-year stretch run with Trotz behind the bench.
Over that three year run his lowest save percentage was a .922 and his highest goals against was a 2.22. Trotz’s “system” is designed to get the most out of his goalie, look at Robin Lehner last year, it’s just easier when you have guys like Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
This isn’t to say that he hasn’t gotten enough out of the Islanders, he has done more than his fair share with this roster, it’s to say that this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering he asked for more “pop up front” at the end of last season.
They tried to go all-in for Artemi Panarin, and I truly believe if he signed here the Islanders would be one of the more dominant teams in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately for Trotz, this isn’t a midseason fix.
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In free agency do they have room for a Taylor Hall or Mike Hoffman? While neither are as skilled as Panarin, they are the best guys available in free agency. Regardless, in order for Trotz to truly make this team a contender, he likely needs another star, and that’s quite alright to admit.