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Trotz is next step in Islanders revival " and a big Tavares lure

Trotz is next step in Islanders revival " and a big Tavares lure
Published On: Fri, Jun 22
May 8, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; iNew York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) checks Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette (13) into the boards during the first period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Boy, how things have fallen into place for the Islanders. And ita€™s all happened so fast.

The total restructuring of the organization that continued withA the hiring of Barry Trotz as the new head coach on ThursdayA could only have been thought of as fantasy a few months ago.

And if negotiations with captain John Tavares continue to progress a€” if the sides close what now seems like a very small gap and Tavares re-signs rather than hits free agency on July 1 a€” then it really will seem like the Islanders have completely turned the corner.

Thata€™s exactly what principal owner Scott Malkin and partner Jon Ledecky have wanted to do since they took over full time in the 2016-17 season. It just so happens that the timing could not have worked out better a€” picking up Lou Lamoriello to run the front office on May 22 after he ran into a contractual squabble with the Maple Leafs, and now getting Trotz just weeks removed from winning the Stanley Cup with the Capitals and then running into his own contractual disagreements with Washington brass.

a€œI stepped down to take some chances, and I was pleasantly surprised to get a call almost immediately,a€ Trotz said on a conference call Thursday.

a€œI said, a€˜Ia€™m in, I want to listen.a€™ Obviously talked to Mr. Lamoriello, had a terrific conversation. Told me about his vision and his plan for the team, what hea€™s already done in a very short period of time. He was able to continue changing a lot of the things, a lot of the cultural things, all that. I love that.

a€œThata€™s why they hired me in Washington, to change a little bit of the culture and try to win a Stanley Cup. So Ia€™m going to try to do the same thing on the Island. Ia€™m excited about the whole process.a€

The most important person to be excited will be Tavares, who has seen the cronyism of the Charles Wang era eliminated. Just two weeks after Lamoriello was hired, he essentially fired long-time general manager Garth Snow and neophyte coach Doug Weight a€” both still technically with the team, but in much lesser (if not totally unimportant) roles.

Read the complete news article here...

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