Stanley Cup-winning coach Barry Trotz wasn’t out of work for long.
Trotz, who guided the Washington Capitals to the franchise’s first championship two weeks ago but resigned this week because of a salary disagreement, was hired Thursday to coach the New York Islanders. The hiring was announced via Twitter by the Islanders, citing Lou Lamoriello — the team’s president and general manager — with the hiring.
Trotz’s contract with the Capitals included a clause that gave him a two-year extension if the team won the Cup. However, the clause didn’t give him much of a pay raise, from about $1.5 million to a reported $1.8 million. That’s below market for top-tier NHL coaches. He also reportedly wanted a longer deal, and he resigned when he and the Capitals couldn’t come to an agreement. His new contract with the Islanders reportedly will be for five years at upwards of $4 million per year, per Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada.
The Islanders hired Lamoriello to make over and change the culture of what has long been a disappointing team. Among his first actions were to fire then-coach Doug Weight and then-GM Garth Snow, and his hiring of Trotz is another impact move. Trotz led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1998, and they defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in five games.
Lamoriello also must try to retain center John Tavares, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and has been the cornerstone of the team.
The Islanders have been undergoing changes in many areas. Acknowledging that their move from the Nassau Coliseum to Brooklyn’s hockey-unfriendly Barclays Center has not been a success, they are scheduled to move to a new arena near the Belmont Park racetrack for the 2021-22 season. The arena campus is also scheduled to include a hotel and high-end retail stores.