Would Trotz Be Enough to Keep Tavares in New York?

Well that was fast.

Not even an hour after resigning as the Washington Capitals head coach, Barry Trotz was already being rumored as the next head coach of the New York Islanders. That’s what happens when you become a free agent after leading a team to its first ever Stanley Cup championship.

The Islanders, who recently gave their front office an overhaul headlined by the hiring of legendary executive Lou Lamoriello, are currently doing everything they can to persuade their captain, John Tavares, to re-sign long-term in New York. The superstar center is currently slated to become a highly coveted unrestricted free agent on July 1, where he stands to become one of the highest paid players in NHL history.

Lamoriello has the tough task of keeping Tavares from hitting free agency, and while he is an icon and one the most revered executives in the sport, his influence alone may not be enough to entice the Isles captain to re-sign. However, if he could also bring on the influence of a recent Stanley Cup winning coach, Tavares’ attitude may change. Enter Barry Trotz.

Trotz is one of the greatest coaches in NHL history, as well as one of the most respected. There is a reason that he’s had a head coaching job in the league since 1998. His players love playing for him, and they always buy into the system that he coaches. Any team would be lucky to have him as their head coach, and luckily for the Isles, they are the only team (other than the Capitals) who is currently without one.

While this match makes too much sense, would a legendary coach along with a legendary executive be enough to convince John Tavares to sign long-term with the Islanders? It’s tough to say because ultimately, it comes down to what Tavares thinks is best for him, whether it’s money, winning, location, etc. He’s always been known for his quiet demeanor, so it’s tough to pin exactly what’s most important to him.

There’s a lot to like about the current direction of the Islanders. They’re in the hands of an iconic executive, they have a talented core of players headlined by rookie sensation Matthew Barzal, and in a few years, they’ll be playing in a brand new arena on Long Island. If Lou Lamoriello can convince Barry Trotz to come aboard, they’ll be able to make one hell of a last-ditch sales pitch to keep their captain on the island. The question is, will it be enough?

Photo: Paul Sancya/AP


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