Barry Trotz makes his first coaching hire as incoming Nashville Predators GM

Carolina Hurricanes v Nashville Predators
Carolina Hurricanes v Nashville Predators / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It takes a coach to know a coach - that's what the Nashville Predators are hoping as ex-New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz made his first significant move as Preds GM, relieving John Hynes of his duties and hiring New Jersey Devils assistant coach Andrew Brunette as head coach.

In doing so, Trotz takes a page from his former boss Lou Lamoriello and hires someone he has a long-standing relationship with from earlier in his career. Trotz coached the 49-year-old Brunette during the Predators' inaugural season in 1998-99 and for three years in the AHL with Portland.

Brunette, who scored the first goal in franchise history, played just one season with Nashville; Brunette had a 16-year NHL career totaling 733 points (268 goals, 465 assists) in 1,110 games with six NHL teams. The team's outgoing GM, David Poile, also has familiarity with the new head coach, having drafted him in the seventh round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft while general manager of the Washington Capitals.

Andrew Brunette
Nashville Predators v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

This will not be the first head coaching job for Brunette, but his first without the interim tag. He took over for Joel Quenneville with the Florida Panthers last season and guided them to a 51-18-6 record and the Presidents' Trophy. However, after being swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs, the organization chose to go in a different direction and hired veteran coach Paul Maurice. After making the playoffs as an eighth seed, Maurice has the Panthers in their first Stanley Cup Final since 1996 against the Vegas Golden Knights.

The dismissed Hynes reached the playoffs in his first three seasons behind the bench in Nashville after replacing Peter Laviolette. Despite a strong 134-95-18 record, he failed to advance in the playoffs, going just 3-11 in the postseason. Assistant Dan Lambert was also not retained by Trotz.