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Islanders News: Tavares inside, Trotz intrigue

The best free agent player is the Islanders’ to lose, the best coach theirs to gain?

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals - Game Seven
Penny for your thoughts. Okay, maybe $88 million for them?
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday. Anything happening?

Islanders Reading

  • John Tavares? He’s a great player and a great guy. Former teammates from junior on to last season’s Islanders speak of him with reverence. [NHL]
  • There was the usual scuttlebutt — the Leafs will bring out an iPad if they get to pitch him! — on Tavares free agency. Dan updated the Encyclopedia with the latest because he’s a tortured completist. [LHH]
  • TSN Insider is among those with the usual, although one previously unreported bit: The Isles tabled an 8 x $80 million offer this spring. (There had been some who suggested Garth Snow somehow never even offered terms to Camp Tavares.) [TSN]
  • Big NHL news that is not explicitly Isles-related, but...the Isles are the only team seeking a head coach: Barry Trotz resigned from the Capitals. [LHH | Japers’ Rink | Newsday | Post]
  • Could Trotz be headed to the Islanders? Stan Fischler muses. [MSG]
  • Oh by the way, the NHL Awards are tomorrow, and the draft is Friday and Saturday. MSG will air some classic Islanders rookie games this week. You have draft party options too. [LHH]
  • The Islanders are seeking $400,000 in sales tax breaks on their contribution to further upgrades to Nassau Coliseum. [Newsday]

Why Did Trotz Leave?

Honestly, the Trotz-Capitals divorce makes sense from both sides. They were already grooming his replacement, who will be much cheaper. His Cup win gives him all the more leverage to enter the upper echelon of coaching salaries — and security.

The Caps weren’t ready to pay that much, for that long, to a coach they were ready to let walk before their fortunes changed. [NHL]

This reporter found out about Trotz — and gasped — in the middle of a Senate hearing. [Yahoo]

Was Trotz different this past season? Signs pointed to yes [Sportsnet]:

The coaching shuffle only underscores how unexpected this championship season was for a Caps team that got worse on paper but managed to find a higher resolve when the playoffs arrived. It all started with Trotz, who has spoken of going through a personal experience last summer that brought better perspective to his life.

While he declined to provide specific details on what that experience was, Trotz said: “When I got that clarity everything got calm.”

It allowed him to brush aside the uncertainty about his future this season and just do his job.


  • BREAKING OVERNIGHT: Trade! Sharks acquire Mike Hoffman for stuff.
  • BREAKING MID-MORNING: Trade! The Sharks have now flipped Hoffman to Florida.
  • Bob McKenzie looks at draft prospects 11-20 on his board. As a reminder, the Isles pick at 11 and 12. [TSN] Here’s all of the NHL’s main site coverage. [NHL]
  • You know which experienced defense-oriented vet won’t coach the Islanders? Dave Tippett. He’s joining the Seattle expansion group. [Seattle Times | NHL]
  • Just because Max Domi is now a Canadien, don’t expect him to start filling the net. [TSN]
  • Top 10 draft prospect Brady Tkachuk enjoys the advantage of having a father and older brother who’s been through this whole NHL thing. [Blues]