NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Six years after coaching his last game for the Predators, Barry Trotz spent plenty of time greeting old friends around Bridgestone Arena before his Islanders opened a four-game road trip with a 5-0 loss Thursday night.
Those lasting relationships are all part of Trotz’s legacy in the Nashville community after spending 15 seasons helping to build the Predators from an expansion franchise into a perennial playoff contender.
“All of us in the coaching fraternity have a lot of respect for Barry,” said John Hynes, hired as the third coach in Predators history on Jan. 7 after his dismissal by the Devils on Dec. 3. “You know any time someone’s been here for as long as he has, there’s going to be a legacy. But the big thing, now that I’m here, is just the impact that he had on people.
“Just the way he treated people and the way people talk about him speaks more so to him as a human being,” Hynes added. “We all know him as the coach. But him, as a human being, he’s a pretty special guy.”
The opposing coaches chatted at the arena in the morning, with Trotz giving Hynes advice on which neighborhood to look for a new home in Nashville.
“I actually probably talked to John a little bit more today than I have when he was in New Jersey,” Trotz said. “We don’t really mix and mingle a whole lot — Rangers-Devils, Islanders-Devils. Now that he’s on the other side, we can mix and mingle a little bit.”
Mathew Barzal’s right cheek was bloody and swollen but he was otherwise fine after being hit by Scott Mayfield’s rising shot at 7:12 of the third period. Barzal did not miss a shift.
Anders Lee matched his season high with eight shots . . . Defenseman Johnny Boychuk was on the ice for four of the Predators’ goals. Brock Nelson, Anthony Beauvillier and Noah Dobson were on the ice for three goals . . . Thursday marked the seventh straight game Trotz has altered his goalies, with Thomas Greiss getting the start. Greiss and Semyon Varlamov rotated for a franchise-record 33 games to start the season . . . Ross Johnston, Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Sebastian Aho remained the healthy scratches.