Doug Weight on Barry Trotz firing: 'I know something else is going on'
Doug Weight is ready to start talking hockey again.
The former Islanders coach made his NHL Network debut on Thursday night and has agreed to a one-year deal to serve in a part-time capacity as an on-air analyst.
“What I’ve been doing for the past two-and-a-half years is a lot of family stuff, a lot of traveling,” Weight told Newsday on Thursday. “My youngest [child] is a high school senior. This is a great opportunity. Along with the traveling, I’ve watched two, three, four games a night and have my finger on the pulse of the league. I’m just going to go have some fun and talk about it.”
Weight was fired along with general manager Garth Snow on June 5, 2018, less than a month after Lou Lamoriello was hired as the Islanders’ president.
Lamoriello fired Weight’s successor, Barry Trotz, on Monday after four seasons. The Islanders missed the playoffs for the first time since Weight’s last season.
“Let me preface this by saying you’re talking about a great guy, a great coach,” Weight said when asked if he was surprised that Trotz was fired. “I was surprised. My reaction is because I know something else is going on. For sure, it’s not about Barry’s performance. Something else is going on down the road that Lou is not feeling good about.”
Weight declined to speculate further as to what might have spurred Lamoriello’s decision.
Weight said he still follows the Islanders and has kept his residence on Long Island’s North Shore. So, commuting to the NHL Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, won’t be an issue.
He’s had previous experience as a television analyst in the playoffs and has a longtime friendship with NHL Network executive Josh Bernstein, who formerly worked in public relations for the Islanders.
Weight said he wouldn’t rule out pursuing another coaching role if there are opportunities, though, for now, a television gig based locally is welcome.
“I’ve had a few opportunities, not being a head coach,” Weight said. “I just can’t do it right now with my family. I had been at the rink for 30 years straight. I’m pretty good right now. I love the game. I would love to help a team win, but this is a good opportunity to have some fun.”
Weight went 59-49-14 after being elevated from assistant coach to replace Jack Capuano midway through the 2016-17 season. That included a 35-37-10 finish in 2017-18 when the Islanders allowed the most goals in the NHL.
“Ten, 12, 15 games in I felt good but I was very leery about our record,” Weight said. “We were scoring at a crazy pace. When things started breaking down and the goals stopped going in, we’d spend a lot of time in our zone. We started panicking and giving up goals. I didn’t react as well as I should have. I probably should have nipped it in the bud. I took the other route that, ‘We’ve got to score more goals.’ ”