The New York Islanders made a massive decision on Monday, they let go of Head Coach Barry Trotz. As an Islander fan, it's probably the last thing you expected to hear on this random Monday.
But with the move, Lou Lamoriello has firmly backed himself into a corner. He's got to have the offseason of his life to not only fix the Islanders but save his own job.
New York Islanders Lou Lamoriello has backed himself into a corner
The 2021-22 season was the first setback in Lou Lamoriello's tenure with the Islanders. He enjoyed three years of success in the regular season and in the playoffs. Everything was going pretty well. But with perhaps one too many moves, combined with a tough combination of travel and poor COVID decisions by the NHL and the Islanders faltered this year.
This offseason was going to be the litmus test of Lou and Barry's ability to both identify and rectify a mistake. Now the full weight of that falls on Lou Lamoriello.
Of course, as the GM Lou always had the final say in any decisions made by the Islanders, but Barry Trotz executed that plan on the ice. The two worked hand-in-hand in turning this group into the team we saw succeed over the last few years.
With Barry Trotz falling Lou's played his last card. If there's another failure he's the next man out.
And look fixing this team isn't going to be easy. Lou has to pull off an epic offseason in order to get the Islanders back into a winning position and save his own job. And the list of things that Lou has to fix just got more daunting with his latest move.
Here's a now growing list of things Lou needs to not only complete but knock out of the park this offseason:
-Hire a top bench boss
-Pull in a top-line winger
-Find a top-4 left-handed offensive defenseman
-Effectively use ~$13 million in cap space
Failing in any of those could very well see the Isles falter again and see Lou lose his job as the President and GM of the New York Islanders. Keeping Trotz around at least another year (till the end of his contract) would have given Lou another year to fix things. Now he doesn't have that luxury. Good luck, Lou.