After recusing himself from the coaching carousel last season, one of the best coaches in NHL history could return his name into consideration next season. Former Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals, and New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz told NHL.com today that he’s not quite ready yet to return to coaching, but the idea of coaching an Original Six franchise would spark “intrigue” for the veteran coach.
Speaking on his timeline on whether or not Trotz would return to coaching, he gave the following explanation:
I think probably to get everything settled, I’m going to be into early December before I feel comfortable (that) I’ve got family stuff in control and after that, I’m probably going to have to take a little break, a week or two, to maybe go somewhere warm in the winter, and then after that…
Trotz nearly got his first experience coaching a Canadian team this season, presenting as a finalist for the Winnipeg Jets’ head coaching vacancy before ultimately deciding that he wouldn’t coach anywhere during 2022-23. The 60-year-old coach is enjoying some well-earned time with his family after 23 straight seasons behind an NHL bench.
In terms of Original Six teams that Trotz could head to, there’s really only one feasible option for next year: the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Boston Bruins are already off to a strong start under new head coach Jim Montgomery; the same could be said for the Chicago Blackhawks and Luke Richardson and the Detroit Red Wings and Derek Lalonde. It doesn’t seem like the New York Rangers or Montreal Canadiens would be willing to part ways with Gerard Gallant or Martin St. Louis after impressive coaching stints, either. Keefe is the longest-tenured out of all six, and after a continued pattern of playoff losses, a wholesale change could be on its way to Toronto this offseason.