The biggest negative surprise of the season for the New York Islanders, came almost immediately after the season had ended. It was a rough year for the Islanders. The Islanders finished the season at 37-35-10 and missed the playoffs. Because of this, Barry Trotz was fired.
On Monday, May 9, Lou Lamoriello announced that the team has fired Barry Trotz. This came as a surprise to many. Overall, Trotz hasn't been a bad coach for the Islanders, but this year he had his worst year with the team. The Islanders were ninth in the conference, but 16 points out of the second wildcard spot.
New York Islanders Biggest Negative Surprise of the Season
Trotz was hired by the Islanders back in 2018 and had just one year left on his contract. Could backstage politics have had something to do with this firing? At the end of the day, we don't know because we weren't there. But, to say that Lamoriello jumped the gun with this firing is an understatement.
Did Trotz have his issues? Absolutely. He relied on the veteran players extensively and didn't always give the young guns on the team a fair chance. This was a big issue for the Islanders this season, among the Islanders fanbase.
Trotz had a very low tolerance for mistakes from the younger players, like Oliver Wahlstrom, and made it seem like the veterans, like Josh Bailey, and Zdeno Chara could have a lot of chances, even when they messed up. This was incredibly frustrating for many Islanders fans, like myself who were tired of seeing Chara, or Bailey, on the ice when they weren't much better.
However, Trotz has done well for the Islanders overall. His overall record for the team is 152-102-34. He also took the Islanders to back-to-back Stanley Cup Semi-Final appearances. Aside from this year, the Islanders made the playoffs the past three years.
These are incredibly respectable statistics from a head coach. This serves as the biggest negative surprise of the year. Many people were annoyed and frustrated about how the team finished this year, and rightfully so. However, to put all that blame on Barry Trotz is a real head-scratcher.