Somewhere in a box in his basement is the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach Barry Trotz won in 2016 while with the Capitals.
He’s a finalist again this season after leading the Islanders to a 23-point, regular-season improvement and the winner will be announced at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas on June 19.
But among the things Trotz is looking forward to this summer, after the Islanders were eliminated from the second round of the playoffs with a 5-2 loss at Carolina on Friday night, personal awards are not high on his list.
“I don’t like individual awards at all,” Trotz said on Monday in East Meadow as the Islanders conducted their exit interviews. “I get to represent my coaching staff. I get to represent the players who put in all the time and commitment and work ethic. I don’t think it’s an individual award. It’s a team award. I would be our representative.”
Trotz said he is looking forward to a longer, more normal offseason. His last 20 months since the start of the 2017-18 season have been almost nonstop.
He led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup last June, declined the team’s unsatisfactory contract extension offer, then joined the Islanders to help new president and general manager Lou Lamoriello’s organizational turnaround.
“If we were still playing I’d be totally all right with that because you do get energy,” Trotz said. “But there is something to be said about sort of getting a little bit of time off. There was a stretch when we won the Cup and then I got back to work [with the Islanders], there was 90 days straight where I didn’t have a day off. That took its toll a little bit at times.
“But I always tell my kids, ‘Find something you enjoy and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ So, I guess I haven’t worked a day in my life so far.”