It was reported earlier today that the Nashville Predators have made a decision not to renew the expiring contract of current head coach Barry Trotz and it is my speculation that this announcement combined with the dismal exit out of the playoff picture by the Maple Leafs could well spell the end of current head coach Randy Carlyle.
Carlyle was partly brought in as a defensive specialist yet it appears that the Leafs managed to actually regress further in that department with a league leading average shots against. Whatever system was implemented either did not suit this particular compliment of players or the players were choosing not to implement it. Even with the likes for Jamie McClement, whom I personally regard as a solid defensive specialist in the league, they had some less than stellar stats this year.
This may yet be the most inexpensive and fastest way to shake things up in the Leafs locker room, especially with MLSE up against the the salary cap and it is one of the few bold moves the Maple Leafs could make this off-season with the potential to make a significant impact on the team. With Barry Trotz you automatically get a new way of thinking, new systems and a fresh outlook for the coming year.
Trotz always struck me as a coach that has managed to have some pretty significant success with a roster that never had a full compliment of true NHL caliber stars upfront although the years with both Gary Suter and Shea Weber in the back, along with some stellar goaltending definitely did not hurt. The fact the Predators had so much relative success and no disrespect to the team, I actually think they are an absolute top notch organization that others could learn from, was due to Trotz.
Much like Lindy Ruff, I very much doubt that Trotz will be without a team for long. One does not have to look much further across Canada for teams that would definitely entertain acquiring a solid coach like Trotz over the summer. As always, food for thought.