Barry Trotz could get everything he wants in Seattle

Brian Tinsman
June 19, 2018 - 11:48 pm

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports


When things didn't work out on a long-term deal with the Washington Capitals, former head coach Barry Trotz didn't waste time moping.

He started piling up the frequent flyer miles.

His first plane trip was to Newark Liberty International Airport, which presumably puts him close to the only other head coach vacancy in the NHL: the New York Islanders.

If Trotz did meet with the Islanders, he left without a deal being agreed to. According to Russian Machine Never Breaks, Trotz came back to D.C. without spending the night on Monday, and was back in the airport on Tuesday morning for a flight to Seattle.

No rest for the weary. But there's only one catch: there is no NHL team in Seattle.

There is, however, "a lot going on behind the scenes" to make a Seattle hockey team a reality.

"This is a mammoth operation. It's not just simply the National Hockey League inviting...the principals behind the Seattle move to 'apply and you're in,'" explained Darren Dreger to NBC Sports.  "It isn't that simple. There's a lot of paperwork that has to be sorted through.

"Best case scenario from a Seattle perspective is that those involved in the renovation of KeyArena have a shovel in the ground early summer."

Keep in mind that "early summer" officially begins this week. Trotz jetting to Seattle could be the missing piece of the puzzle.

It's worth noting that even if renovations begin now, a Seattle franchise would be hard-pressed to be ready before the 2020 season, needing to build a franchise from the ground up. Trotz could be at the point in his career where, armed with a Stanley Cup title, he is ready to take on an advisory role that either morphs into a head coaching job or not.

Buck Showalter played a similar role with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1996, providing two years of hands-on organizational management before taking over actual baseball duties as skipper. 

Under a similar setup, Trotz would get another chance to coach while also getting something else he was rumored to want: time off.

"It was just my perception - Barry never came out and said it - but I think he was pondering taking a year off in my mind," Caps general manager Brian MacClellan mused in his Wednesday press conference. "I wasn't positive on it, but I think he ended up enjoying the final part of the season, obviously, and probably changed his mind that way."

Maybe yes, maybe no. If he does want time away from coaching while still keeping his hand in the rink, this could be the ideal situation in Seattle.


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