Nearly a month removed from the end of the 2022 NHL season and Nashville Predators general manager-in-waiting Barry Trotz has deflected questions about the future of head coach John Hynes about as well as goaltender Juuse Saros deflects pucks with his blocker.
However, Trotz’s noncommittal disposition may reveal there’s more than what meets the eye.
Trotz has had several opportunities to give Hynes his endorsement but has instead just tiptoed around the issue. Perhaps he hasn’t completely shut down the speculation he could bring in a new head coach because there’s speculation to be had.
In a recent radio interview with 102.5 The Game, Trotz hinted that although Hynes and the rest of Predators coaching staff are still under evaluation, he’s not completely closed off to the idea of potentially making a change if he sees fit.
“Everybody is going to be evaluated, and I’m also going to evaluate other organizations too,” Trotz told 102.5 The Game. “If I can improve on any aspect of our organization — be it coaching or development — I’m going to try and do that.”
— Robby Stanley (@RStanleyNHL) May 10, 2023
The “other organizations” part of Trotz’s comment is interesting. Is Trotz just biding his time while he waits to place a call to Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach Spencer Carbery?
Trotz has a history with Carbery, who had stints as the head coach of both the South Carolina Stingrays and Hershey Bears, the ECHL and AHL affiliates of the Washington Capitals while Trotz was the team’s head coach.
Under Carbery’s guidance, Toronto’s power play ranked No. 1 in 2021 and No. 2 in 2022.
Sources close to the situation have indicated that if the Predators were to make a change at head coach, Carbery could be the frontrunner. Though it’s not been decided if the team will move on from Hynes.
But as long as the Maple Leafs remain in the playoffs, Carbery remains off limits, which might explain why there are no further details on Hynes’ status with the Predators.
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