Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, who was looking forward to...

 Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, who was looking forward to the China Winter Olympics, said he would accept whatever decision was made about NHL participation in the games.  Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Barry Trotz has coached in international competitions before and, surely, he’d like to do so again in the future.

The Islanders coach just won’t be doing so next February for Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The NHL formally announced on Wednesday it would not send its players to participate in the Winter Games. It was an all-but-foregone-conclusion given the league-wide COVID-19 outbreak that led to an extended NHL holiday break. The three-week Olympic window in February will now be used to reschedule the heavy slate of postponed games, including four involving the Islanders.

The Islanders have been idle since practicing on Monday, a day after losing a 4-3 shootout to Vegas at UBS Arena. All team activities are on hold until Sunday, when the team can reconvene after 2 p.m. for testing and practice.

"Given the profound disruption to the NHL’s regular-season schedule caused by recent COVID-related events — 50 games already have been postponed through Dec. 23 — Olympic participation is no longer feasible," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

The Islanders’ next scheduled game is this coming Monday night at Buffalo.

Trotz was the only member of the organization publicly named to one of the Olympic squads after being selected as an assistant on coach Jon Cooper’s staff. It was possible some Islanders players may have been candidates for their respective countries and other, off-ice members of the organization may have been in line to participate as well.

Trotz was asked on Saturday whether he was still willing to go to China. Any Olympic participant testing positive potentially faced a five-week quarantine in that country.

"Everybody’s going to be in a different place," Trotz said. "The fear of everybody is you’re stuck in China for four or five weeks, that’s hard on the mental health for some guys. For some guys it’s not an issue. My personal opinion won’t be everybody’s opinion.

"I think the league and the Players’ Association and the IOC, they will figure that out. If we go, as a league, I will be thrilled to go. If we don’t, I’ll accept the decision and that will be it."

So, that is it, for now, for Trotz to expand his international resume.

Trotz, then the Captials’ bench boss, did serve as an assistant to Team Canada coach Mike Babcock at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto. Team Canada swept Team Europe in a best-of-three final to win the championship.

"Even the first exhibition game, it felt maybe more intense than an actual NHL playoff game because there [were] more expectations on Canada than probably some of the other teams, especially because they were hosting it," Trotz said in 2016 after returning from the competition, held prior to the NHL season. "I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It made me better. It stretched me."

Trotz has also been a Team Canada assistant coach four times for the IIHF World Championships, including winning a gold medal in 2003 in Finland.

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