Rangers’ Gerard Gallant on Isles firing Barry Trotz: ‘Hard to believe’

gerard gallant
Apr 29, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant speaks to the media following a 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Islanders announced on Monday that they relieved head coach Barry Trotz of his coaching duties. This news had even New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant baffled!

Despite a really bad start to the year, which was highlighted by losing 11 in a row (0-8-3) from November 7 to December 5, the Isles were able to finish this season with a record of 37-35-10 and a fifth place finish.

It was an impressive late-season run to claw above .500, but they were too far behind to make the playoffs in the highly competitive Eastern Conference.

Apparently missing the playoffs was just not something GM Lou Lamoriello found acceptable.

“It’s obvious that I thought quite a bit to make this type of a decision. It will be a tremendous understatement to say that this was not an easy decision to make. Unfortunately, it is my role to make the best decisions for the organization going forward and I believe that this group of players needs a new voice and this in no way is anything negative on Barry Trotz, who as each and every one of you knows is a tremendous human being.”

Lou Lamoriello, NHL.com

Gerard Gallant reacts to Barry Trotz firing

gerard gallant
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s just hard to believe,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Surprised obviously. He’s a great man and he won’t be out of work long.”

Gallant’s sentiments are basically shared by everyone in the hockey community today.

Trotz, 59, compiled a 152-103-34 record in 4 seasons with the Islanders that includes two runs to the Eastern Conference Final.

For his coaching career, he’s amassed a record of 914-670-60-168 over the course of 23 years. He spent 15 of those with the Nashville Predators and 4 with the Washington Capitals, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2017-2018.

Gallant, who has been fired a few times himself, most recently with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2019-20 added some words of solace to a fellow coach.

“I’ve been there, done that, we all know that,” Gallant joked. “Trots will be fine.”

Gallant should be a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy

Gallant, 58, is considered a top candidate to win the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year. His stiffest competition will likely come from Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter.

Darryl Sutter (Calgary)50-21-11 (1st)+200
Gerard Gallant (N.Y. Rangers)52-24-6 (2nd)+300
Rod Brind’Amour (Carolina)55-20-8 (1st)+300
Andrew Brunette (Florida)58-18-6 (1st)+300
Vegas Insider

The list of the past 12 winners shows the now fired Barry Trotz a two-time winner. Gerard Gallant took home the honor in 2018, while Rod Brind’Amour won it last season.

YEARWINNER, TEAMRecordDiv. FinishSeason w/Team
2021Rod Brind’Amour, Carolina Hurricanes36-12-81st3
2020Bruce Cassidy, Boston Bruins44-14-121st4
2019Barry Trotz, New York Islanders48-27-22nd1
2018Gerard Gallant, Vegas Golden Knights51-24-71st1
2017John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets50-24-83rd2
2016Barry Trotz, Washington Capitals56-18-81st2
2015Bob Hartley, Calgary Flames45-30-73rd3
2014Patrick Roy, Colorado Avalanche52-22-81st1
2013Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators25-17-64th2
2021Ken Hitchcock, St. Louis Blues43-15-111st1
2011Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins49-25-81st3
2010Dave Tippett, Phoenix Coyotes50-25-72nd1
List of recent Jack Adams Winners


It was an incredibly disappointing season for the franchise that had Stanley Cup aspirations. Beginning with a 13 game road-trip due to construction of the UBS Arena and then pummeled by COVID-19, the Islanders missed the playoffs and now Barry Trotz is no longer the coach. Read More.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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