The Nashville Predators have decided to part ways with Barry Trotz, the only coach the team has known since entering the league in 1998. With the Florida Panthers finishing 29th in the league after a disappointing 30th place finish the year before could Trotz be a good candidate for the head coaching job in Florida? Nothing is certain about Peter Horachek’s future in Florida and talks of him returning in Florida have yet to begin. But with Trotz practically molding Horachek into the coach that he is as Horachek served as an assistant in Nashville under Trotz, could Trotz system benefit Florida?
The Panthers have always lacked offensively and it’s cost them many games in the past, so would a Horachek for Trotz swap work? The only way to really tell is to try it and find out. Plus, Horachek could always be retained as an assistant under Trotz once again. But with both coaches playing a dump and chase style which has proved to not work for the Panthers, I personally don’t believe it would be a good fit.
The Panthers have young future stars with Nick Bjugstad and Alexsander Barkov who don’t mind using their size and battling for puck possession. However this makes things harder on players such as Jonathan Huberdeau, Thomas Fleischmann and Brad Boyes, who benefit from being able to maneuver in the offensive zone to create opportunities or take shots. Something fighting for possession in the corners or side boards limits, especially when most times it results in shots from outside on the side boards which are typically low scoring locations.
If Dale Tallon manages to land big names in free agency as he has stated he will push to do now that he’s given the opportunity to spend money, finding a coach that fits the role will need to be found. While I’m not saying Florida should go the route of a team like Pittsburgh, being heavily offensive minded mainly due to the firepower the team possesses, I don’t think they should go full on defensive mode either. Something that could be seen as a good mix between the two, that will help them in both ends of the ice, especially when the team recently finished 30th overall in power play and penalty kill percentage in the league.
Dale Tallon has stated he will look for at least five free agents this summer, two of which being defenseman. Changes are incoming in Florida, however I don’t believe Barry Trotz will be one of them. He will definitely make one of the other teams searching for a new head coach this off-season very happy however.