Barry Trotz is the new head coach of the New York Islanders. Even if you grade him by “yes but he was in Nashville forever and couldn’t get them past the second round and then in D.C. he didn’t win it all until he was about to be...” there is ample, historical reason for every Islanders fan to be pretty excited right now.
Because, well, this isn’t the kind of hiring that hasn’t happened in a long, long while on the Island. Actually, it’s kind of never happened.
Every Islanders Head Coach Ranked by Total NHL Wins as of June 2018*
- Al Arbour - 782 (plus 123 playoff wins)
- Barry Trotz - 762 (plus 55 playoffs)
- Peter Laviolette - 571 (plus 73 playoffs)
- Jack Capuano - 227 (plus 10 playoffs)
- Ted Nolan - 187 (plus 6 playoffs)
- Terry Simpson - 159 (plus 11 playoffs)
- Mike Milbury - 143 (plus 22 playoffs)
- Rick Bowness - 123 (plus 8 playoffs)
- Lorne Henning - 87 (plus 2 playoff wins)
- Butch Goring - 83
- Scott Gordon - 64
- Doug Weight - 59
- Steve Stirling - 56
- Brad Shaw - 18
- Bill Stewart - 11
- Phil Goyette - 6
- Earl Ingarfield - 6
*Includes wins with any NHL team in regular season, per hockey-reference.com. Even though we prioritize playoffs over everything else in this league, somehow those never figure** into career statistics.
**Because if they did, we’d know Mike Bossy for his 658 NHL goals (including playoffs) instead of 573.
***Trotz, Laviolette, Capuano and Weight’s wins are inflated by coaching in the NHL’s “The People Demand A Winner” OTL/shootout era, but still.
The first guy on that list is a legend who defined the franchise, and while he was hired with great promise (and a Scotty Bowman endorsement), he’d only coached parts of three NHL seasons before joining the Isles.
The third guy was an unproven AHL coach they took a chance on, who turned out well — yay! — but Milbury canned him, so he won a Cup with someone else, and took two other teams to Cup finals. Including just last year.
The fourth guy was also an AHL promotion who coached through most of the rebuild and the Garth Snow era. Still not even half the win totals as the guy above him, yet he’s second on the Islanders’ all-time list for wins behind the Isles bench.
The fifth guy was the last “proven” coach the Isles hired, and even that is modest.
You get the picture. The second guy on the list is their new coach.