Islanders relieve Barry Trotz of coaching duties

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Barry Trotz closeup 2021
Barry Trotz closeup 2021

The Islanders announced that they have relieved Barry Trotz of his head coaching duties on Monday.

Despite returning many of their key cogs from their semifinals run in 2021, the Isles had a rough campaign this year, falling short of the playoffs.

It's clear GM Lou Lamoriello wants a fresh perspective now on the Islanders' bench.

"It would be a tremendous understatement to say this was not an easy decision," Lamoriello told reporters via conference call. "Unfortunately, it is my role to make the best decisions for the organization.

"This group of players needs a new voice."

New York finished their season 37-35-10 with 84 points this year, and that simply didn't cut it in terms of at least reaching a wild card spot. The Metro Division was tough, though, as the Carolina Hurricanes (116), New York Rangers (110), Pittsburgh Penguins (103) and Washington Capitals (100) all made the playoffs.

The Isles, known for their offensive prowess, just didn't possess it this season. Their goal differential was minus-6.

But Isles fans can't fault Trotz for this one season when he has spearheaded this group since 2018. Fresh off a Stanley Cup victory with the Caps during the 2017-18 season, he jumped ship and landed in Long Island, as Lamoriello wanted that championship pedigree instilled in the blue and orange.

Trotz immediately led his team to a 48-27-7 record with 103 points to reach the playoffs during the 2018-19 season, though they'd fall in the second round.

But the Isles saw back-to-back conference finals in 2019-20 and 2020-21, only to fall to the Tampa Bay Lightning twice -- they'd go on to win the cup both times.

Those results, however, aren't what the Isles want. They want the cup back in Long Island, and following a rough season where they finished fifth out of eight in the Metro, the cord was cut.

The 59-year-old Trotz has tons of coaching experience and will certainly be sought after this offseason.