Report: Coveted coach Barry Trotz is stepping away from hockey

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Barry Trotz is reportedly passing on the Winnipeg Jets job to focus on his family, but isn't ruling out a return to coaching in the future. (Photo via USA TODAY Sports)
Barry Trotz is reportedly passing on the Winnipeg Jets job to focus on his family, but isn't ruling out a return to coaching in the future. (Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

Coveted free-agent head coach Barry Trotz won't immediately be accepting an NHL coaching job, instead choosing to take some time away from the game to continue focusing on his family life, TSN's Darren Dreger reported on Friday.

There were plenty of suitors for Trotz's services — with the Flyers, Red Wings, Golden Knights, Panthers and Jets all emerging as potential landing spots — but it appears the latter was the front-runner to ink the Manitoba native as Trotz reportedly lamented how hard it was to turn down the Winnipeg job.

Back in May, Trotz’s firing caught the hockey world by surprise following a disappointing season with the New York Islanders when general manager Lou Lamoriello showed him the door with a year left on his contract. The 59-year-old bench boss, however, instantly became one of the most highly sought-after coaches early in the offseason.

As far as the Jets go, longtime head coach Paul Maurice abruptly resigned last December, saying the team "needed a new voice." After being replaced with interim head coach Dave Lowry, the Jets tumbled down the standings, finishing 6th place in the Central Division and missing the playoffs. Maurice has since been hired as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers, and the Jets were surely hoping someone of Trotz's stature would be their next guy.

Trotz, however, is not ruling out a return to an NHL bench at some point, according to Dreger, who added that Winnipeg's coaching hunt will trudge on with its No. 1 target no longer in the mix.

Trotz coached the Nashville Predators for their first 15 seasons, guiding them to the playoffs seven times. His 914 regular-season wins rank third among coaches in NHL history.

Trotz won the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals in 2018.

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