What I Learned Being Locked in a Room With Barry Trotz for 2 Hours

Kelvin Cech

Steady contributor in multiple roles over the years at the coaches site, former MJHL coach of the year with the Winkler Flyers and assistant coach with the UBC Thunderbirds Men's Hockey team.

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“They want me to talk about defensive concepts, but I don’t know anything about that, so let’s just talk.”

That’s what Barry Trotz said to a group of ten coaches in a small boardroom at the Sheraton Hotel in Vancouver last week a day before the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Coaches from the East Coast Hockey League, the AHL, and a couple of us from the university ranks chuckled at the Stanley Cup champion’s humility, but it wasn’t until a few hours later realization set in – this man just won the Jack Adams trophy as coach of the year.

After a season in which his New York Islanders swept the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs.

And he doesn’t know anything about defensive concepts?

“I had no stress in the season that I won the cup. I let all that go. I stopped coaching for my job and I just coached because I love it.”

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, like anything in our game, it’s never completely straight forward.

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