On Wednesday evening, Trotz was presented with the Jack Adams Award – an honour given annually to the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success – at the annual NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas. After being voted in as a league finalist, alongside Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper and Craig Berube of St. Louis.
Although in a pool of very deserving candidates, the Manitoban’s contributions proved greater as the New York Islanders’ 23-point improvement from 2017-18 was the difference. After giving up a league-high 296 goals in 2017-18, Trotz was brought into the picture, and his impact on Long Island paid instant dividends. The Islanders gave up 100 fewer goals this past season, becoming just the second team in NHL history to lead the league with the least goals against, after having the most the season before.
After finishing as a runner-up for the prestigious award in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, the now 56-year-old earned the Jack Adams following his Presidents’ Trophy-winning 2015-16 season in Washington, before taking the honour on Wednesday. New York finished 2018-19 with a 48-27-7 record, a vast improvement from 2017-18 (35-37-10), while swapping their goal differential of -32 to +32 in one year’s time.
Trotz – a product of Dauphin, MB. – spent his junior hockey days with the WHL’s Regina Pats and Brandon Wheat Kings, as well as the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings. Upon completing his junior hockey, Trotz transitioned over to coaching, and accepted the call as bench boss of the University of Manitoba Bisons.
After graduating to the American Hockey League, Trotz was hand-selected by General Manager David Poile to become the first Head Coach in Nashville Predators history. Trotz played a key role for the Preds in the 1998 expansion draft, staying with the team through the highs and lows of 15 NHL seasons.
After beginning his coaching career with the Nashville Predators, in which the former defenceman put together a 557-479-60-100 record over 1,196 games in 15 years, Trotz joined the Capitals in the 2014-15 season, helping himself to three division titles, two Presidents’ Trophies, and ultimately one Stanley Cup in 2017-18. Trotz concluded his time in Washington with a 205-89-34 record, and remains as the franchise’s all-time leader in win percentage behind the bench. He signed a five-year deal to coach in New York until the 2022-23 season.