The New York Islanders made a stunning announcement on Monday when they announced that they had relieved head coach Barry Trotz of his duties behind the bench. While the move comes off the back of a very disappointing season for the Islanders, many were surprised that Trotz, who won a Jack Adams as the National Hockey League's best coach and took the Islanders to a pair of Conference Finals, wasn't granted more leeway especially considering some of the extenuating circumstances that made this season especially challenging for the Islanders.
Nonetheless the Islanders are run by veteran general manager Lou Lamoriello, one of the most experienced executives in the sport and one who also serves as president of hockey operations for the Islanders, and on Monday Lamoriello made it clear that the decision was his and his alone.
"Did I consult with anyone on this decision, the answer is no.," said Lamoriello taking full responsibility for the firing. "Did I speak to players on this decision? No. I would never even consider thinking of anything like that..."
Lamoriello also cited his experience as a guiding force in this decision.
"This decision is on the knowledge that I have, of the experiences I've had and going forward what I think and feel is best for this group to have success," Lamoriello said.
Lamoriello initially gave what I would consider to be a rather generic answer when asked about firing Trotz, citing the need for a new voice.
"This group of players needs a new voice," he said. "This is no way anything negative on Barry Trotz."
But when he was pressed on the matter, Lamoriello refused to go into specific details and that would in turn lead to speculation that there may have been more behind this move than meets the eye.
"I would rather not get into any of the reasons," said Lamoriello when asked why he had fired Trotz.
The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta reports that there have been rumblings this season that the relationship between Trotz, some of his players, and Lamoriello himself may have become rocky at certain points during the season. Whether or not that proved to be a significant contributing factor to the decision to fire Trotz today though, likely only Lamoriello himself knows the answer to that one.