Former Islanders coach Barry Trotz has decided to take some time off from the NHL.
Trotz, who was fired by the Islanders after the season, turned down a chance to become the bench boss of his hometown club, the Jets.
Trotz told NHL.com he plans to take some time away from the game to be with his family.
“I’ve got some things personally that I’ve got to take care of, family-wise that I’ve got to take care of,” Trotz told the website. “I didn’t feel … if I’d said I’ll take the job, I think I would have done any team a little bit of a disservice and myself a disservice because to be a coach in the NHL, it is demanding and it requires your all. It just does, emotionally it just does, mentally it just does. So I couldn’t go down that path.
“It doesn’t mean I’m not going to coach. Just not going to coach right now. I’ve been doing this for 25 straight years and I’ve put a lot of stuff on the back burner and I think it’s time [for a break]. The one thing I do know, and it’s a mistake that everybody makes, is you think you have time and you don’t. And so this is my time when I can get to a lot of things I’ve put on the back burner. I have to take care of those, for peace of mind for everything so I will be 100 percent in if I get back into it and I’ll be a better coach for it.”
Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello surprisingly dismissed Trotz shortly after a disappointing 2021-22 season, which ended without a playoff berth for the first time in Trotz’s tenure and after back-to-back runs to the conference finals.
The Post’s Larry Brooks reported there was frustration in the Islanders locker room over the coach’s approach to the grinding 82-game season, and that Trotz himself began to feel the same way about the situation ahead of what would have been the final year of his contract.
The Islanders, who finished fifth in the Metropolitan Division with an underwhelming 84 points this past season, underperformed and struggled to fill the voids left by Jordan Eberle and Nick Leddy. They also had to battle a COVID-19 outbreak early in the season while playing their first 13 games on the road as they waited for their new home, UBS Arena, to be completed.
Trotz, who landed on Long Island just months after winning the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018, coached the Islanders to their most consistent stretch of success since the franchise’s four-Cup dynasty in the 1980s. He accumulated a 152-102-34 record (28-21 in playoffs) over four regular seasons and won his second Jack Adams award, the Coach of the Year honor, in 2019.
The 59-year-old reportedly had interviews with a couple of other NHL teams that had head coaching vacancies. Along with the Jets, the Bruins, Blackhawks and Red Wings still are searching for a new coach.