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Barry Trotz out as Predators coach

Barry Trotz, Nashville's only head coach, will not be back next season.
Barry Trotz, Nashville's only head coach, will not be back next season.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

When the Nashville Predators first took the ice for the 1998-1999 season, Barry Trotz was their head coach. Until today, that has been the case. For 15 seasons, the longest active tenure in the NHL, Trotz has been Nashville's head man. Well, that will be the case no more. With Trotz' contract running out this year, the Predators have decided to not bring him back. Trotz is out as Nashville's head coach.

So, next season, the Predators will have only their second head coach ever. I see no reason for Nashville to let him go, but it is not unreasonable to try and bring in some fresh blood, as it were. Trotz had to coach a team up from expansion. He got them to a point where they made the playoffs regularly. He coached almost 1,200 games with the team. Trotz has been, arguably, the face of Predators hockey, or at least one of them. At the very least, he's been an institution.

The last couple of seasons have been less than stellar, but that isn't Trotz's fault. Ryan Suter got a big money deal to move on. Trotz has never had much at his disposal offensively. When Pekka Rinne had his hip issues, this season was over. Two years in a row without making the playoffs, and a roster in transition, is what got Trotz the passive boot.

Perhaps Nashville will bring in a young coach to grow with the team. That's not a bad plan. As for Trotz, he'll be fine. In fact, if he wants, I imagine he will be coaching next season. The longest tenured coach before it was Trotz was Lindy Ruff. Buffalo let him go, this year he was snatched up by Dallas, and now the Stars are in the playoffs. Trotz is a lot like Lindy Ruff from a resume perspective. He will land on his feet, and Predators fans will get their second head coach in franchise history.