It’s hard to underestimate just how much former Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz meant to the organization.
Long known for getting 110 percent out of his players, a second-straight season without a trip to the playoffs spelled disaster for the only coach the Predators have known. Just hours after being forced to resign by the club, Trotz sat down for an emotional press conference to say good bye to a fan base and team that meant so much to him.
The now former bench boss of the Predators teared up several times during the 25 minutes he addressed the media.
“I found a home here in Nashville. I didn’t think it could get a whole lot better than Portland where I was working for the Washington Capitals, but I was wrong,” Trotz said.
The man running the show in Nashville since 1997, Trotz joked about the fact that one of his defenseman, Seth Jones, was just two years old when the coach first got the keys to the new expansion franchise nearly 17 years ago.
“I only ever thought I’d be here for one year to help the franchise transition,” Trotz said. “The running joke was that I wouldn’t outlast the new carpet we were putting into the new dressing room. Well, I made it through five or six different carpet changes.”
Once holding a stretch of postseason qualification in seven out of eight seasons, the last two years coming up short of a playoff run wasn’t good enough in the mind of the Predators general manger, David Poile.
“Going to the postseason is the minimum standard for us here,” Poile said. “So the last two tough years we’ve had forced me to make the toughest decision I’ve had to make in 30 years of being a GM.”
As Trotz concluded his last time in front of the Nashville media the coach commented that he thinks he will be a head coach of another NHL team very soon, citing that he just has too much energy to not move on to another challenge.
“If I can share one more story it would this,” Trotz said becoming emotional again. “As I was driving up here to the press conference, I knew how hard it was going to be, but I told myself to keep it together. But then as I’m driving up interstate I-65, I almost drive off the road cause there it is. A sign that says ‘Thank you Barry Trotz.’ I think that says it all, thank you Nashville Predators.”