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Why is Barry Trotz not coaching next season? Jets' leading candidate says he wouldn't be 'fully committed' to the job

Sporting News logo Sporting News 6/25/2022 Bryan Murphy

Barry Trotz was at the top of a lot of teams' coaching wish lists, but it turns out that he won't be behind the bench for any club next season.

The longtime NHL coach announced Friday that he would not be coaching in the 2022-23 campaign. He is taking time away from the rink to focus on his family. 

Trotz, 59, was fired by the Islanders on May 9 after four years with the organization. He was previously a head coach with the Predators and the Capitals. He won the Stanley Cup in 2018 with Washington. 

He has a career regular-season record of 914-670-168, with 60 ties. The 914 wins are the third-most in NHL history, trailing only Scotty Bowman and Joel Quenneville. Trotz ranks second on the all-time list in games coached, with only Bowman coaching more. 

MORE: Islanders offseason outlook

Trotz has won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's Coach of the Year twice in his career: in 2015-16 with the Capitals and in 2018-19 with the Islanders.

The Sporting News looks at why Trotz chose not to coach next season.

Why is Barry Trotz not coaching in the NHL next season?

In a sitdown interview Friday with Tim Campbell of, Trotz said that he felt he would not be 100 percent committed to coaching if he were to take a new job. 

"I've got some things personally that I've got to take care of family-wise that I've got to take care of," he said. "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."

At the time of his decision, it was reported that he was the leading candidate to coach the Jets, who are searching for a new head coach after Paul Maurice stepped down last December. Trotz grew up in Dauphin, Man., a few hours outside Winnipeg. 

"Winnipeg came after me in terms of wanting me to be part of the organization and I was really impressed with their commitment to winning, their commitment with [Kevin Cheveldayoff] as (general) manager," Trotz said. "I know [assistant GM Craig Heisinger] and other people there. I've got relatives that work for the Jets and friends that work security there, people I went to school with. I know lots about the Jets. They've got a tremendous organization and a real family atmosphere. But I could not commit to any team; it wasn't just Winnipeg, it was every team that I had talked to because I had to know I was 100 percent in."

Despite the fact that he will be taking a year off, retirement is not in Trotz's plans just yet. He wants to be back on an NHL bench, but it has to come on his terms and when he feels he's ready. 

"It doesn't mean I'm not going to coach," Trotz said. "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. 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."


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