NHL Rumors: Islanders, Jets, Golden Knights, Canucks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the hockey world is still stunned to hear that Barry Trotz had been fired by the New York Islanders. What will be his next move? Meanwhile, why did the Islanders let him go, and which teams are going to make a pitch to land him as their next coach? Finally, the Vancouver Canucks and Bruce Boudreau are working together on something, which might have offered hints about his future.

Why Was Trotz Fired?

There is still a lot of chatter as to why the New York Islanders decided to let Barry Trotz go as head coach. Even though Lou Lamoriello said he didn’t talk to the players before making his decision, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz believes some of the players were critical when it came time for the exit interviews and a source said Lou Lamoriello might have simply been listening to their comments.

One league source with knowledge of the Islanders’ dressing room pushed back on Lamoriello’s assertion that the decision was made without any player input, pointing out that the general manager surely knew what they were thinking after holding the standard individual player meetings immediately after the season.

source – ‘Why was Barry Trotz fired, and what comes next for Islanders?’ – Kevin Kurz – The Athletic – 05/09/2022

As per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, “Barry Trotz will take at least a week to collect his thoughts and ponder his next move. Will his NHL future feature a management role somewhere or back to coaching?” If he returns to coaching, any team that is will likely have to do better than $4 million per season as he still has time on his deal with the Islanders.

Barry Trotz
New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz behind the bench in Game 4. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Among the rumored teams to be interested are the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, and Winnipeg Jets. Longshots, as per Sonny Sachdeva of Sportsnet, have the Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers keeping an eye on the situation. It’s not clear what will happen with Pete DeBoer in Vegas and if the Panthers are eliminated from the postseason in the first round, there could be a change behind the bench, and interim head coach Andrew Brunette won’t be given an extension.

Another source said the Seattle Kraken could be a team to watch here as many believe their franchise lacks structure, something Trotz would bring.

As for what comes next with the Islanders, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period writes that he would expect the Islanders to be active this offseason. They will be looking to add and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they looked to move a veteran or two to help free up salary cap space.

Why the Jets and Trotz?

There’s a lot of talk about the Jets being interested, especially while the team is rumored to be preparing for big offseason changes. Paul Friesen of The Winnipeg Sun writes that the timing is ideal and that the Jets need to make the right choice, not necessarily one based on loyalty to who is with the organization now.

Related: The Grind Line: Naming the Red Wings’ Next Head Coach

Friesen notes:

Loyalty is a powerful force for the Jets’ brass. They’ve shown that over the years. Leaned on too heavily, it can be a fault. This is too golden an opportunity to let loyalty get in the way. There will be competition for Trotz’s services. Three times, his teams have won at least 50 games. They’ve won at least 40 a dozen times.

source – ‘Trotz should trump loyalty in Jets’ coaching search’ – Paul Friesen – Winnipeg Sun – 05/10/2022

Boudreau Helps Canucks Pitch Andrei Kuzmenko

Elliotte Friedman noted while a guest on the Donnie & Dhali show that Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau seems to be leaning toward sticking with the Canucks and accepting the option for another year on his contract because he was active in the Canucks’ pitch to land Russian free agent Andrei Kuzmenko.

Bruce Boudreau Vancouver Canucks head coach
Bruce Boudreau, Vancouver Canucks head coach (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Friedman noted, “I think Rick he’s coming back. I heard, you reported about the Kuzmenko meeting on Friday. That he met by Zoom with the Canucks. I understand that Boudreau was part of that meeting.” Friedman added that it seems unlikely Boudreau would take part in that meeting, help sell the Canucks and the team’s overall plans and then not be part of the team.

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