Barry Trotz wants people to listen. That’s what the Islanders coach was doing as NHL players organized a boycott for two days of playoff games as a protest of social injustice.
“I think, probably, listening,” Trotz said on Friday when asked how he defined his and management’s role. “Trying to understand and be supportive. Almost like a parent’s role. Listening is a skill. And this is a good time for everybody to listen. There’s stuff in this world, everybody pretends they understand. But we don’t understand. It’s important to listen.”
Trotz said there were powerful scenes inside the Toronto bubble watching 30-40 players from opposing teams get together, “trying to come up with solutions and understanding and being very supportive."
Trotz added he was “proud” of both the players and “the whole NHL family.”
But he also said this movement can't be only two days of postponed games.
“The next step is to have a defined plan of what you’re going to do,” Trotz said. “You’ve got a voice. You’ve got some momentum for the brotherhood. It is the next step to have some solutions. If you have to change some laws, get that done. If it’s getting schools, the next generation, to understand love and understanding, let’s get that done. That’s the next step for me.”
Holmstrom on loan
The Islanders loaned forward Simon Holmstrom, the 23rd overall pick in 2019, to Vita Hasten HC of Sweden’s second-tier league.
Play will resume in that league before the NHL, which is hoping to start its next season on Dec. 1, and it’s also unclear when the AHL will resume play. The Islanders can recall Holmstrom from the loan to rejoin the organization for training camp.
The slick-skating Swedish forward had eight goals and seven assists in 46 AHL games for Bridgeport in 2019-20, his first season in North America.