Barry Trotz has told the Winnipeg Jets he’s not ready to be a head coach again, meaning the team’s search for a bench boss will continue, Sportsnet can confirm.
The Manitoba native was considered a top candidate for the job, which is open after Dave Lowry finished the year as interim head coach following the resignation of Paul Maurice.
Trotz has been a strong candidate for several openings since he was fired by the New York Islanders following the season.
In an exclusive interview with Tim Campbell of NHL.com, Trotz explained his decision:
“I’ve got some things personally that I’ve got to take care of, family-wise that I’ve got to take care of,” Trotz said. “If I’d said I’ll take the job, I think I would have done any team a little bit of a disservice and myself a disservice because to be a coach in the NHL, it is demanding and it requires your all. It just does, emotionally it just does, mentally it just does. So I couldn’t go down that path.
“It doesn’t mean I’m not going to coach. Just not going to coach right now. I’ve been doing this for 25 straight years and I’ve put a lot of stuff on the back burner and I think it’s time. The one thing I do know, and it’s a mistake that everybody makes, is you think you have time and you don’t. And so this is my time when I can get to a lot of things I’ve put on the back burner. I have to take care of those, for peace of mind for everything so I will be 100 percent in if I get back into it and I’ll be a better coach for it.”
Regarding the Jets, here’s what Trotz had to say:
“Winnipeg came after me in terms of wanting me to be part of the organization and I was really impressed with their commitment to winning, their commitment with [Kevin Cheveldayoff] as (general) manager. I know [assistant GM Craig Heisinger] and other people there. I’ve got relatives that work for the Jets and friends that work security there, people I went to school with. I know lots about the Jets. They’ve got a tremendous organization and a real family atmosphere. But I could not commit to any team; it wasn’t just Winnipeg, it was every team that I had talked to because I had to know I was 100 per cent in.”
Sportsnet reported last month that Trotz met with at least four teams — the Jets, Detroit Red Wings, Vegas Golden Knights and Philadelphia Flyers.
The Golden Knights hired former Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy while the Flyers hired veteran bench boss John Tortorella.
The Red Wings still have not made a hire.
Trotz has coached 1,812 career regular-seson games in the NHL with the Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals and Islanders.
The 59-year-old Trotz won the Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018.
Four coaching jobs remain open — Winnipeg, Detroit, Boston and Chicago, though the Blackhawks are in negotiations with Montreal Canadiens assistant Luke Richardson.