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04-01-2011, 05:47 PM
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I'll take my assistant coach - Barry Trotz.

Mark Willoughby from TheViewFrom111 has this to say about him:

Yet underneath that calm demeanor there is a drive to excel that pushes Trotz- and subsequently his players- to consistently exceed the expectations of the hockey world. As the Coach of a team that doesn’t spend as freely as some of the large market competitors, Trotz is called upon to squeeze everything out of the talent that he is given.
Trotz is a coach that respects his players and puts the responsibility for the play on them. Although he will “call out” a player in the media, it is more of an exhortation to bring their game back to a certain level of performance rather than berating the player in public. This approach is appreciated by the players, and because Trotz respects them, they in turn respond to his coaching.

This is not to say that Trotz can’t light up a player or the team when necessary. I travelled with the Predators on a Western Canada road trip several years ago, with the first stop in Vancouver. The Predators played an uncharacteristically lifeless game and lost 2-0. I caught up with Coach Trotz the next day in Calgary, and we talked about the game. He told me that once the doors were closed, he had some choice words for the team, and that he called out several of the “stars” on the team. His comment was that if you want to be treated like a big dog, then play like a big dog.

And therein lies, I believe, the foundation of the success of Barry Trotz. He respects his players as players, and more importantly, as people. The fact that the team had to be chastised never even made it to the beat reporter from Nashville following the team. This was family to Trotz and he dealt with it behind closed doors. He did not embarrass the players. He clearly defined expectations and in turn expected his players to respond to him.
Trotz continually preaches the value of resiliency to his team. He tells them there will be moments in a game, and stretches in a season, where things don’t work, where the individual or the team suffers a setback. Trotz continually coaches his team to focus not on the breakdown or the tough patch, but to focus on the comeback. Take the punch, get off the mat, and fight back. This has been bred into the DNA of the team to the point that players often bring this up when talking to reporters. The philosophy of Trotz- and by extension the Predators- is not to dread the setbacks. They know they will come. Instead, have the fortitude and the ability to overcome adversity.
Trotz has often been described by many adjectives- stoic, hard working, underappreciated. All are accurate. But if you want to really understand the success of Barry Trotz and his ability to get the most out of his team, it starts with these three characteristics: respect; resiliency; and realism.
Here are Nashville's PK results since their inception:

27th (out of 27), 12th (out of 28), 8th (out of 30), 9th, 17th, 24th, 5th, 3rd, 3rd, 10th, 28th, 6th (this year)

Other than a few blips down the road, Nashville has had a very strong PK over the last decade. As I believe that much of a great PK comes down to solid coaching, this is a very good record for Trotz.

He should also work very well with Bob Johnson, as both of them believe in respecting their players, and getting the absolute most out of them at all times. Trotz brings a somewhat more fiery approach towards guys not working well, but I feel that Johnson's calm and composed attitude will work more to put these flames out. I see no reason why they can't work very well together.

Given that Johnson focuses a lot more on offense, Trotz will be the guy who handles the PK and defensive zone strategies, and this in turn should give my team very strong coaching in every zone of the ice.

PM'ing next.

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