Barry Trotz says he didn’t have ‘any interest’ in taking Canucks head coaching job

Photo credit:Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
1 year ago
The Vancouver Canucks may have just made a coaching change, but it appears one of the top names on the market didn’t have any interest in joining the team as Bruce Boudreau’s replacement.
Barry Trotz, who has served as the head coach of the Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals, and New York Islanders during his long career, appeared on Tuesday’s episode of The Athletic Hockey Show and discussed the Boudreau situation in Vancouver with hosts Craig Custance and Sean Gentille.
While it appears Trotz, 60, is itching to get back behind an NHL bench before long, he said he reached out to Boudreau before the Canucks fired him, told him he didn’t want his job, and offered his services as “someone to talk to” — similar to how longtime NHL coach Ken Hitchcock would reach out to Trotz himself during his own tough stretches.
Here’s a partial transcript of Trotz’s comments about Boudreau from the latest episode of The Athletic Hockey Show:
I just watched Bruce go through hell. I reached out to Bruce. I said, “I don’t have any interest in your job or anything.” This was probably about six weeks ago. I said, “Listen, I watch and know what’s going on. Sometimes you need to talk to someone outside the game, just to have another person to vent on. Here’s my number.” And he really appreciated it.
I just thought it was unfair to him, the way it was done. It’s unfortunate. I don’t know the dynamics of that organization and how it came about, but it was tough to watch. And I think everybody recognized that. […]
I know Bruce a little bit. We have the same representative. And I just felt that was the right thing to reach out. Because when you get fired, no one wants to reach out to you a whole lot, other than reporters asking what went wrong and whether you have any ill will. When Bruce was going through that, I just felt that it was like when (Ken Hitchcock) would reach out when I was stressed out over the years and say, “If you just need someone to talk to, I’m here.” I felt like it was something I needed to do, just as a human.
The Islanders fired Trotz in 2022 after he spent four years as the team’s head coach, reaching the playoffs and winning at least one round in all three. Trotz previously won the Stanley Cup as the head coach of the Washington Capitals in 2018.
Now, both Boudreau and Trotz are on the open market. While it doesn’t necessarily look like a given that Boudreau, at age 68, will get another chance to be a head coach in the NHL, Trotz is the third-winningest coach in NHL history and did a lot with a little during his tenure with the Islanders. If he wants to work, he will.
Rick Tocchet replaced Boudreau as head coach of the Canucks earlier this week and enjoyed a 5–2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday in his first game with his new team. The Canucks will return to action on Wednesday when they visit the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena.

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