I have been a subscriber to your magazine for years and this is the first time I felt compelled to write to you.
I usually agree with your comments in the Editor’s Notebook, but the coach who should win your Coach-of-the-Year Award didn’t get anything more than a ‘shout out.’
I am not a Nashville Predators fan, but the job Barry Trotz did was nothing short of amazing. The Preds were supposed to be in a rebuilding year after dumping most of their better players. He took a group of castoffs and a rookie goalie and not only made the playoffs, but came within two wins of knocking off the Presidents’ Trophy winners in the first round.
He also had to cope with injuries to key players such as Shea Weber and Steve Sullivan for large parts of the schedule.
Coaching is about finding the strengths of your team and playing them up. Trotz actually had to ‘coach’ his players, not just tap a player like Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby on the shoulder and say “go score.”
It’s easy to look like a good coach when you have world class players on your team. Nashville has very few of those. Claude Julien and John Stevens did a great job this year, but Trotz did more than they did, with less.
Keep up the great work!
Brian Nowak, Buffalo, N.Y.