Trotz ready for next coaching challenge
April, 15, 2014
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com
Barry Trotz might need a new phone battery by the end of this week.
Text messages and voice mails have been flowing in since the announcement Monday that he was no longer going to coach the Nashville Predators following 15 seasons (17 years) with the organization.
Lots of those messages were from rival coaches, and the volume of people reaching out certainly touched him.
"I'm going to spend the whole day returning texts and phone calls," Trotz told ESPN.com Tuesday. "I need to hire an assistant."
Not really, but he is seriously thinking about hiring representation. When you're coaching the same team for 17 years, you don't need an agent. But now he's entering the open market, and he's likely going to need someone to handle what he hopes is some level of interest.
Humble to the bone, he wasn't sure what to expect on that front. The reality is that he's the hottest candidate on the coaching market. Teams looking for a head coach would be absolutely crazy not to look at him.
"We'll see if there's anything out there that makes sense," Trotz said. "I want to work with someone, not for someone, to do something special. I want to be part of something meaningful. I want to win a Stanley Cup. But I'm not just going to take the first job offered. It has to be right."
Media and fans in Vancouver and Toronto have already identified Trotz as a target for coaching jobs in those cities, to which Trotz quickly shot down any line of questioning on those fronts out of respect for the coaches who are still employed in those respective markets, John Tortorella and Randy Carlyle.
"I don't wish anybody getting fired," said Trotz. "As coaches we work hard; emotionally it takes its toll. You don't want to ever see a coach let go."
Personally, I feel Vancouver would be a better fit if there's an opening, when you consider the Canucks will likely go younger with a rebuilding lineup, and Trotz's track record on that front speaks for itself.
Meanwhile, Trotz has been offered a job in the Predators organization if he doesn't find another coaching gig.
He made it clear that while Preds GM David Poile "treated me with nothing but class," he wants to be behind a bench, not a desk.
"I want to coach," said Trotz. "I'm looking forward to getting an opportunity that is right."
One question that Trotz will no doubt be asked as opportunities arise, after spending 17 years in a small market where there was one traveling beat writer, is can he handle a bigger market?
"I've coached in the playoffs with the Predators in places like Vancouver. I've been in the league 17 years, I think I could handle it," Trotz said. "Probably not 10 years ago, but now, yes. I've had everything thrown at me for 17 years. I know how to handle people. We're in the people business, from dealing with players and media, I'm good with people. I think I can handle that, if that were to come. Right now, there's nothing open, so I'll sit and wait and see what happens."
On the family front, the timing is good for a new home. His kids have all grown up and are all out of school, other than his 13-year-old son with Down syndrome.
"I'm looking forward to spending some time with the little guy," Trotz said of his son. "My family is in a good place. If we're moving, we're OK with that. Another adventure."
And wherever he lands, he'll remain true to himself.
"Any place I go, I'm going to be me," said Trotz. "I'm going to be involved within the community. I'm going to work my butt off for that NHL team. That's the only way I know. That's how I'm wired."