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Barry Trotz: An organizational game changer

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The biggest head-coaching hire in New York sports since...

2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Two
Barry Trotz, the savior?
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

There are certainly a lot of comparisons between the New York Jets and the New York Islanders. Both play second fiddle to organizations with a long and celebrated history, both have failed to hoist trophies in decades and both have long hired rookie head coaches, until now.

Lou Lamoriello pounced once Barry Trotz resigned as Washington Capitals head coach and signed the Stanley Cup-winning head coach to a five-year-deal. You have to go way back, over 20 years, for this kind of organizational-changing hire in New York sports.

Back in 1997, the Jets, coming off a 1-15 season the season before and three wins in the Rich Kotite era, hired Bill Parcells as head coach. The “Tuna”, coming off a run to the Super Bowl with the Patriots, immediately brought credibility to a franchise in desperate need of some.

Leon Hess
Leon Hess, the man who brought Parcells to the Jets

Although the move did not bring the Jets another Super Bowl. The team improved by eight wins in Parcells’s first year and the team won the AFC East the following season, their first in the NFL. The Jets became the Jets the following year, as Vinny Testaverde’s season-ending injury in the first half of the season opener derailed their Super Bowl dreams.

Before people jump on me with Tom Coughlin, the Giants were not exactly at rock bottom as Gang Green was.

Trotz becomes the first head coach hired by the Islanders with previous NHL head-coaching experience since Ted Nolan in 2006. Ironically Trotz is set to pass Al Arbour on the NHL all-time wins list next season.