680 CJOB has confirmation Barry Trotz has decided not to return to his home province to become the new head coach of the Winnipeg Jets.
The hockey club is not commenting on the reasons for Trotz’s decision and will now focus on other candidates for the vacant position.
Boston and Detroit are the only other NHL teams besides the Jets without head coaches under contract for the 2022-23 season.
The Winnipeg-born and Dauphin-raised Trotz became the immediate front-runner to take over behind the Jets bench after being fired by the NY Islanders on May 9. He had one year remaining on a rumoured $4-million contract when he was surprisingly relieved of his duties.
The two-time winner of the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL coach of the year in 2016 and 2019 guided the Isles to a 37-35-10 record, missing the playoffs as a head coach for the first time since what would be his 15th and final season with the Nashville Predators in 2013-14.
In the seven years between those non-playoff campaigns, Trotz guided Washington and New York to at least the second round on six of those occasions, including the Capitals’ first-ever Stanley Cup championship in 2018. The two seasons prior to the one just played, the Islanders advanced to the conference final twice, only to lose to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning both times.
Trotz is the third-winningest coach in NHL history with a record of 914-670-60-168. Only Scotty Bowman has coached more games than the 1,812 Trotz has since the start of the 1998-99 season, when he became the first-ever bench boss of the then-expansion Nashville Predators.
While Trotz’s career .567 winning percentage ties him for 13th place among the 31 men who have coached 1,000 or more games in the NHL, that number improves dramatically to .635 over the past eight seasons after he compiled a 357-191-68 record with Washington and the Islanders.
Dave Lowry was named Winnipeg’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season on Dec. 17 following the unexpected resignation of Paul Maurice just 28 games into the season. Maurice stepped down three days after what was his 600th game at the helm of the Jets, a disappointing 4-2 loss at home to the lowly Buffalo Sabres on Dec. 14.
Under Lowry, the hockey club continued to perform inconsistently, sputtering to a 26-22-6 record over the final 54 games and missing the post-season for the first time since 2016-17.
During his end-of-season media availability, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff confirmed that Lowry as well as associate coach Jamie Kompon and longtime assistant Charlie Huddy would not be receiving contract extensions. Cheveldayoff said at the time that Lowry had earned the right to interview for the vacant head coaching position.