Barry Trotz out as Nashville Predators coach
Former Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz speaks to his team during a timeout in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. (DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)
The Nashville Predators announced Monday that they will not extend the expired contract of longtime coach Barry Trotz.
The team offered Trotz a hockey operations department job but said he has not yet decided if he will take it.
Trotz coached the Predators for the past 15 seasons. The team finished 38-32-12 this season and missed the playoffs.
"Our organization has high expectations and we have not met them in the past two seasons," general manager Poile said in a statement. "As a result, it is my decision and determination that we need a new voice and a new direction. Our change in direction began over a year ago as we have made several personnel changes, including trading of long-time veteran players and a change to our coaching staff last offseason. Our goal is to return to the playoffs with the ultimate goal of contending for the Stanley Cup. We know that once we get into the playoffs, anything is possible.
"I also want to thank Barry for everything he has done for our franchise. He has been the face and voice of our team for 15 years. He created, developed and lived The Predator Way -- on the ice, in the office and in the community. There could be no finer ambassador for the Predators or Nashville than Barry Trotz. He has laid a foundation and culture that will benefit the next coach of the Nashville Predators."
Trotz coached 1,196 games with the Predators, which is second behind the San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich for longest active coaching tenure among the four major sports. Trotz is the only NHL coach to guide his team to the playoffs in a stretch of seven of eight seasons. He went 21-21-7 in the playoffs, including two conference semifinals.
"We thank Barry for his many contributions to the Predators organization" chairman Tom Cigarran said in a statement. "Barry is an exceptional person and coach. We wish him the very best going forward. We also have great confidence in David Poile's plan. We support this decision, and believe change is necessary if we are to reach our goals."