1:45pm: Darren Dreger of TSN reports that Trotz has turned down the job in Winnipeg, deciding instead to not jump back into the coaching ring at all. The veteran coach will instead spend time with his family, meaning the Jets will need to look elsewhere.
8:25am: The coaching carousel is chugging along, with new hires in Dallas, Florida, Philadelphia, and Vegas over the last few days. The name that still hasn’t come off the board, Barry Trotz, appears to be running out of options, though four teams still remain without head coaches. Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet reports that the latest meeting between Trotz and the Winnipeg Jets happened earlier this week and it is now up to the veteran coach on whether to accept the job.
Winner of the 2018 Stanley Cup, Trotz is sometimes even more lauded for his work with the New York Islanders, turning them from one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL to one of the best over the course of a single offseason. Even if that kind of improvement isn’t entirely because of a coaching or system change, there are few who doubt Trotz can have a positive impact no matter what kind of situation he ends up in.
Interestingly enough, Wiebe also notes that the deal Winnipeg is offering includes a succession plan that would have him move to the front office at some point down the line. That kind of management role has been speculated about since Trotz hit the market, fired by the Islanders after his fourth year there.
After all, the two-time Jack Adams winner has now coached more than 1,800 regular season games in a long career, trailing only Scotty Bowman on the all-time list. At some point, a transition out from behind the bench seems inevitable, and what better place than his hometown club.
Still, there are some other attractive openings. The Detroit Red Wings, for instance, have a young impressive group that looks like it will be contending in a few years, and might be ripe for a veteran coach to push them over the edge. Whether Detroit, Boston, or Chicago have a realistic chance (or interest) in Trotz at this point isn’t clear but Winnipeg has made him a top priority from the beginning. Now it’s up to him to decide whether he’s going back home.