Barry Trotz Odds: Which NHL Team Will He Coach Next?

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There are a handful of very bad NHL teams this season. Some who planned to be bad in order to tank and get the best percentage shot at winning the 2023 draft lottery and the chance to select mega-prospect Connor Bedard at No. 1 overall next summer. Those clubs would include the likes of the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks.

Then there are clubs that expected to contend for a playoff spot but have disappointed for one reason or another (or many), including the Columbus Blue Jackets (added Johnny Gaudreau in the offseason), Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks.

With all due respect to the various coaches of those clubs, Coach Barry Trotz would be an upgrade behind the bench – and probably would be for about 28 of the 32 NHL teams.

After the New York Islanders missed the playoffs last season, they surprisingly fired Trotz following four seasons – New York had made the postseason in Trotz’s first three years. He was 152-102-34 overall and 28-21 in the playoffs with the Islanders and is a two-time winner of the Jack Adams Award voted as NHL coach of the year (2016 with Washington Capitals, 2019 with Islanders). Trotz led the Capitals to their only Stanley Cup in 2018 yet wasn’t brought back by Washington because of a contract dispute and landed with the Islanders.

While Trotz may not coach this season, there’s a prop on which team he will lead next, and it must be by the start of the 2023-24 campaign.

Trotz Turned Down Winnipeg

New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz

FILE – New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, top, looks on in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Jan. 30, 2022, in Elmont, N.Y. A Winnipeg brewery says it will give Trotz free beer for life if he returns to his native province to coach the Jets. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)

When Trotz was originally fired, he said he didn’t plan to coach this season and was going to spend some time with his family. The 60-year-old was offered the job in Winnipeg during the offseason but declined.

Once the season started, he left the door open a bit and acknowledged some teams had reached out. Trotz hinted that an opportunity with an Original Six franchise – Bruins, Blackhawks, Red Wings, Canadiens, Rangers and Maple Leafs — might give him the spark he was looking for.

“I don’t know yet. I’m deciding,” Trotz said recently about a return this season. “There’s a couple of teams that reached out, and I said I’m not there yet. I’m probably going to take the rest of the year off and see where I am. It’s still a part of me, but I’m going to continue to stay true to myself and my family right now.”

The Rangers are +450 favorites to be Trotz’s next team. Tough to see that team moving on from Gerard Gallant after New York reached Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals and again is a contender.

Chicago, Detroit and Winnipeg are all +500. The Hawks are in full rebuild mode, and it’s the first season on the bench for Luke Richardson. Really no point in hiring a winner like Trotz when the Hawks are at least a few years from winning. The Wings are improved this season under first-year coach Derek Lalonde, and the Jets are batting for the Central Division lead under new coach Rick Bowness.

The favorites are rounded out by Philadelphia, St. Louis, Vegas and a return to Washington, with each club at +800. The Flyers and Blues might make sense.

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