blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: Barry Trotz Interview - 2010 NHL Awards

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Barry Trotz Interview - 2010 NHL Awards

Last month we spoke with Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz at the 2010 NHL Awards in Las Vegas to discuss off-season strategy and surviving at the low end of the salary cap. These are his stories.

Q: Discuss your relationship with GM David Poile and your role in strategizing trades and off-season acquisitions for the Predators.
A: Well I've been with David for over 23 years now. I started in the scouting fraternity and now I'm coaching so I’ve gone through the whole process. David is really good at showing us the long term plan. As a coach you want instant gratification and sometimes that's not the way the organization wants to go. I think I have a real clear understanding of where David wants to go. Sometimes as a coach you want to do something and he lets you voice your opinion. But whenever a decision is made everybody jumps in and makes it happen. We’ve got a real good culture. We can’t play by the same rules as a lot of teams. We understand that’s no excuse so we’ve just got to find a better way to do it.

: Despite the constraints of the cap, some teams operate with a team salary $16m below others. How does a team that spends only 73% of its competitors compete?
A: I can tell you this. Since the salary cap was introduced only nine times have teams that spent in the bottom five made the playoffs. And Nashville is five of those nine times. So you can do it. I think for us we’re probably in a range right now where we’ve got some good young guys and before they mature and maybe get out of our price range or don’t fit into our salary structure we have a good window to do some damage. So things just have to fall into place. Hopefully we continue to grow fans in Nashville and that allows our budget to go up a little bit and keep our own players a little more often.

: Who’s the next captain of your team?
A: Well I’m not going to tell you that. We’ll make a public statement. But you can guess.

: Perhaps a certain defenceman from the Canadian Olympic team?
A: It’ll probably be one of our younger core. Good guess.

Many thanks to Barry for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.