Expect more Islanders changes if Lou Lamoriello wants new style

Expect more Islanders changes if Lou Lamoriello wants new style

No, of course Lou Lamoriello did not seek his players’ permission to dismiss Trotz, are you kidding me?

But you also couldn’t be more naive if you believe that feedback elicited during the players’ exit meetings did not influence the Islanders’ supreme hockey leader’s decision to cut ties with the coach who had brought the franchise its greatest run of success since the Dynasty.

Those meetings, according to sources with knowledge of the events, did not include the threat of mutiny. But we are told that enough players — and ones who mattered — expressed frustration over the team’s single-dimensional, safety-first, safety-last, grinding approach to the 82-game marathon in this era in which high-end skilled athletes dominate the regular season.

Chances are that these conversations ratified Lamoriello’s independent, eye-test analysis rather than opening his eyes to fissures that might have during this longest season.

When it comes to Lamoriello and coaches, it is never about what has been accomplished in the past. It is always about whether Lamoriello believes he has a coach who can take his team to the next level. The next level always means the Stanley Cup.

Even though Trotz has already won one Cup, with Washington in 2018, that mattered about as much as it did to Lamoriello when he fired Larry Robinson in New Jersey a year and a half after winning the 2000 Cup.

Islanders
Lou Lamoriello
Getty Images

Not coincidentally, there had been chatter over the final weeks of the season that Trotz himself might have begun to feel the same way about the while coming up on the final year of his contract. Putting this into marital terms, if Lamoriello had filed for the divorce, Trotz would not have contested it.

The as I see it is that Lamoriello supplied Trotz a roster filled with players who are meant to grind. For goodness’ sake, this is the team that has the splendiferous Mathew Barzal, but attaches its literal identity to the trio of Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck. It is not as if Lamoriello merely inherited the Identity Line. He has given all three members contract extensions within the last 16 months.