Another year, another gut-wrenching first round exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Nashville Predators.
This particular playoff appearance was one of the worst in franchise history, as the team provided little to no resistance against the Colorado Avalanche, who completed the sweep with ease.
After so many years of being stuck in the middle of the pack, many are calling for changes to be made. Most notably, people are calling for John Hynes and David Poile to be fired after such a dismal showing in the playoffs.
How perfect of timing is it that the original head coach of the Nashville Predators, Barry Trotz, has been inexplicably been fired by the New York Islanders:
It seems hard to justify firing Hynes after the team played as well as they did given their expectations heading into the year, but he is also a big part of the reason for the team’s issues.
Hynes also does not have a contract heading into next season, which makes things interesting. This is especially the case because there is a candidate out there who the Predators would be wise to pursue.
Nashville Predators have perfect opportunity for reunion with Trotz
Yes, Hynes did a much better job coaching than he did last year, but there are still many concerning elements to his coaching. Number one, no team that ever takes the amount of penalties that the Predators did under him will go anywhere meaningful.
The Predators also will not go anywhere if their defensive structure does not improve, as they have been guilty way too many times of puck watching and leaving opposing players wide open.
This could all improve with experience, but consider that if this team held a lead against the Calgary Flames with 0.1 seconds left in regulation, or held a 4-0 lead against the Arizona Coyotes in the regular season finale, they would have played the Calgary Flames in the first round and not the Colorado Avalanche.
For as resilient of a team as the Predators have proven to be, you would think that they would have done both of those things.
Of course, these are areas that could definitely improve, but based on the way this team has played under Hynes, we can’t count on that. When you consider that he threw the lines back into the blender multiple times in the playoffs, how much has he really improved?
There are a lot of questions with Hynes, and now that Trotz is on the open market, Hynes’ future should especially be in doubt. Trotz was the first head coach in team history, and emphasizes a lot of the coaching elements that Hynes does.
The difference between Trotz’s teams have been much more disciplined and successful. He has proven himself to be a winner since leaving Nashville, as he won a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals and took a New York Islanders team that had no business going far to the Eastern Conference Finals.
If you are Poile and you are on the hot seat, this could be a good opportunity to gain some more trust from the fanbase. With or without Poile at the helm, this is a move that the Predators would really benefit from.
The Predators have an opportunity to get a head coach who has a tremendous track record, would help the team maximize their potential, and would do a much better job letting the youngsters develop. We will never know of this for sure, but bringing in someone with the reputation of Trotz could make Filip Forsberg more convinced to re-sign.
If you are Poile or anyone in the Nashville Predators front office, forget what happened eight years ago and go after Trotz with everything you have. This team is also considerably more talented than the one the Predators had when he left in 2014.