Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Barry Trotz did the right thing when he quit as coach of the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.

That became evident when it was revealed how much the New York Islanders will pay him.

Trotz will get $20 million over five years (AAV $4m) to coach the Islanders.

He was going to get $3.6m over two years (AAV $1.8m) to coach the Capitals.

That decision makes itself.

True, Trotz has much less chance to win with the Islanders. But money talks, and that much money speaks very loud.

So the Islanders' makeover continues. First, Lou Lamoriello gets hired as GM. Now Trotz is the coach. It's an impressive group, especially since Garth Snow and Doug Weight aren't a tough act to follow.

But if I'm John Tavares, I still bolt when free agency hits on July 1.

Who's the goaltender going to be?

The Islanders will play 21 games in Brooklyn this season, and 20 on Long Island. So they don't really have a home rink.

Who else can the Islanders sign to help Tavares? It's not a destination team.

The Islanders are showing commitment. They're doing everything they can to convince and keep Tavares. They can afford to pay him a bundle.

It still doesn't seem enough.

But if the Islanders do keep Tavares, they could be onto something. Mathew Barzal, the NHL's top rookie, is a lethal secondary weapon. (Or maybe Tavares is. Barzal had one more point than Tavares this past season.)

An Islanders renaissance wouldn't scare the Penguins and Capitals. But it might scare everybody else in the Metropolitan Division.

Photo courtesy of GettyImages

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