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Islanders' Barry Trotz, aging wisely, coaches his 1,700 game in the NHL

Islander head coach Barry Trotz looks on during

Islander head coach Barry Trotz looks on during the third period against the Sabres at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Barry Trotz has had plenty of time to grow as an NHL coach.

He became just the third coach in league history to reach 1,700 games as the Islanders continued a five-game homestand with a 2-1 shootout win against the Bruins on Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum.

"The biggest thing is I’m probably a little more reserved in terms of the emotions," said Trotz, who has been behind an NHL bench continuously since starting with the expansion Predators in 1998 at age 36.

"Being able to keep the emotions in check versus when I was a young lunatic in the league. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I probably know more but when I was young I thought I knew more than everybody else and I really didn’t know anything. You just mature as a person and mature as a coach. What experience does is allow you to filter out what’s really important and what’s not."

Trotz is in his third season with the Islanders following four seasons with the Capitals, culminated by that franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 2018.

Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman, whose career spanned 1968-2002 with five teams, is the all-time NHL leader in games coached with 2,141. The Panthers’ Joel Quenneville, who has led four teams since 1997, coached his 1,730th game on Tuesday.

Bowman is also the NHL’s all-time leader with 1,244 coaching victories, followed by Quenneville with 941 and Trotz with 861 including Tuesday.

"Play for each other, that’s No. 1," Trotz said of how he coaches his players. "Not every player is the same and I understand that. And I look at coaching, my time, as I’m in a partnership with the players. We’re in a partnership to win hockey games. The other partnership is to make you the best version of yourself, whatever that version is."

New York Sports