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Trotz the guy to Coach after Torts?


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Read Ben kuzma article and was wondering what you all though


Barry Trotz took a break Friday in Nashville from his long-time involvement with Special Olympics which includes participation by special-needs son to talk with hockey writer Ben Kuzma about his past with the Nashville Predators and his future that could include returning behind an NHL bench next season. That could happen in Vancouver, if the Canucks let John Tortorella go after his tumultuous first season. Trotz would certainly be among those interviewed.

Q. How anxious are you to coach again after parting company with the Predators after 15 seasons?

A. Ill put it this way. Theres nothing out there in terms of jobs right now, so Im just sitting and watching and Im just hoping that the right situation would come around where I would be a candidate. Ive been in this a long time and a lot of my friends are coaching (in the NHL) and theyve given me some good advice. Ive been able to step back and watch the playoffs and have the chance to learn because you want to get better all the time.

Q. You crossed AHL coaching paths with John Tortorella, you in Portland, Maine and John in Rochester, N.Y. What did it mean to hear from him when you parted company with the Predators earlier this month?

A. Ive been friends with John for a long time and hes an absolutely great human being. A lot of times you only see the hockey side of him. He was one of the first guys to reach out to me and Ive learned a lot coaching against him and his beliefs and how he views the game and life. I have a lot of respect for John. Its weird right now because a lot people who have reached out to me, Ive reached out to them in the past and its tough for coaches because theyre youre friends. You dont want to see any of them lose their jobs.

Q. At age 51, youve seen just about everything in the game. What do you think you bring to an NHL team?

A. Experience. Ive had very offensive teams to defensive teams, to teams that other teams that people thought wouldnt do very much. Experience allows you to understand whats really important in a game and look at it differently from a standpoint of evaluation and creating an environment. I think I bring a high level of communication. We (Predators) were successful and brought a lot out of players and Ive been a part of building something from the ground up. I understand patience and the urgency of making the playoffs.

Q. Nashville is far removed from the daily pressure of a Canadian market. Youre from Dauphin, Man. and played for Regina in the WHL. Would a Canadian city intimidate you as a coach?

A. I welcome any challenge in the NHL and that doesnt scare me at all. Ive never been scared of a Canadian market even when I was younger and more naive. Maybe 10 years ago I would say I was ready, but probably wasnt, but a lot of water has gone under the bridge and Ive dealt with a lot of markets on both sides of the border. I understand the media. I get it. Im prepared for anything and thats what experience brings you. I wouldnt change. I would still be myself. I just try to go and do whats right, not be popular. That will never change.

Q. Your players have said youre a players coach. What do you think they mean by that?

A. I care about the player. He cant be good unless hes right. The game is not all Xs and Os. Its about relationships and understanding why a guy might be having an off week maybe problems at home. You better find out about your players and find out what makes them tick. Im fair. If they chirp and I get on their case, they understand because theyre probably not playing as well as they can because I do care about them. They understand there has to be discipline but you have to treat people well. In Nashville, we had good people and good pros and if they dont fit in, we werent afraid to move them or make harsh decisions.

Q. The way you were raised probably says a lot about a Calgary curling outing on an off day when your players went back on the ice after pizza and subs and you cleaned tables, the floor and pushed chairs back in.

A. Its a good upbringing. Its important and sometimes we forget about people who allow us to do what we do. The game owes us nothing. You treat people the way you should. Being a pro is not only on the ice, its a way of life. Thats what separates outstanding people and pros and I had exceptional ones in Rinne, Weber and Fisher. I tried to develop the whole person and thats very important to me.

Q. You think Predators, you think great defencemen who have played there in Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Dan Hamhuis and great goaltending. Can you be effective with a roster than can play a more up-tempo game if given the chance?

A. A lot of teams take on the personality of their top players. You look at Anaheim with Getzlaf and Perry and Pittsburgh with Crosby and Malkin and thats what you want to emphasize. We had Weber and Suter and Rinne and were strong on the back end. You play to your strengths and thats what good coaches do. You form a culture for your group.

Q. Youth is being served earlier than ever in the NHL. Are kids easier to coach today than 10 years ago?

A. The game has changed. A lot more kids are ready physically, but maybe not emotionally. Thats where you have to balance things and with the information age and developing coaches, kids are more prepared today. And if you can match up the physical and emotional side of a young player, thats when he takes off and can be a high producer. Every situation is unique. Look at Nathan MacKinnon. He has been fantastic and I had Seth Jones in Nashville and hes going to be a top-end player. But there are still bumps in the road and you have to manage that and think about the long term for them. Were in the McDonalds age everybody wants fast food and fast players. You have to make sure you put players in the right spots so they can have terrific careers. When you start sliding as a player, its hard to get back up.

Q. There were mixed feelings about NHL re-alignment. What do you think of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs?

A. I agree with the league on this one, even though I wasnt too sure about re-alignment like everybody else. I was a little skeptical but the natural rivalries in the division have led to some wonderful hockey. I cant remember a year where teams are up two or three goals and the way teams have come back.

Q. How much of that can be applied next fall, because the physical nature and playoff tempo is so much higher than the regular season?

A. A little bit can because it can carry over into the confidence of a team. When we went into our first couple of playoffs series and just winning a couple of games against the Red Wings back then gave us confidence because we knew how hard it was. You see how and why players succeed at that level when things are ratcheted up. Its good for evaluation and learning purposes for the players, coaches and management.



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I thought Kevin Dineen's name would have surfaced, but those who wish for a coaching change seem reluctant to commit to anyone. There is something I like about him .. as a player and as a coach and as a man .. he is true to himself, and a man of character.

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I thought Kevin Dineen's name would have surfaced, but those who wish for a coaching change seem reluctant to commit to anyone. There is something I like about him .. as a player and as a coach and as a man .. he is true to himself, and a man of character.

I would be A ok having him on my short list

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I like Trotz, one of the best coaches in the NHL, Nashville made a bad move not re-signing him IMO.

I hope we get him. I think he would be what we need, he's a players coach, and one of the best things about him is he knows how to get the most out of people. Among other things of course.

He's got the qualities we need in our next coach.

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i would love to have Trotz but I just can't see torts getting fired after a year

Really? After how terrible he was? I sure hope he is fired. Unless you want team to all waive NTC and push for chance at McDavid

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Really? After how terrible he was? I sure hope he is fired. Unless you want team to all waive NTC and push for chance at McDavid

If this team plans to pick up more high first round picks, and force out veterans, then Tortorella is the perfect coach.

I do actually think he would be good at mentoring a new batch of young players. He has already made a positive impact on guys like Kassian and Jensen.

If this team plans to challenge in the next couple seasons however, he's not the right fit with this current core.

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