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Islanders fire head coach Barry Trotz after four seasons

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The New York Islanders fired coach Barry Trotz after missing playoffs in his fourth season with team, the Associated Press confirmed.

General manager Lou Lamoriello made the surprising announcement Monday, just a little more than a week after the regular season ended. Trotz had one year left on his five-year contract.

A series of events outside Trotz’s control contributed to the Islanders missing the playoffs this year. While their new arena was being finished, they opened the season on a daunting 13-game road trip and were hit with a string of coronavirus-related absences and injuries that derailed their season.

Trotz went 152-102-34 as the Isles head coach during his four year span, including back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances in 2020 and 2021. In 2019, Trotz earned the Jack Adams Award, the NHL’s coach of the year award.

Trotz joined the Islanders in the summer of 2018 after winning the Stanley Cup earlier that year with the Washington Capitals. The Caps decided at the time not to rework Trotz’s contract despite the championship, and granted him his release.

He coached the Nashville Predators for the franchise’s first 15 seasons, helping them reach the playoffs seven times. His 914 regular-season wins rank third among coaches in NHL history. Trotz could immediately become a candidate for vacancies in Philadelphia, Detroit and Winnipeg, plus others that may open up because of his availability.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Top: New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz looks at the score board after the Carolina Hurricanes scored two empty net goals during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, April 24, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)