Photo by Doug Brumley
Predators head coach Barry Trotz speaks at an April 25 season wrap-up press conference.
Predators general manager David Poile has exercised the option to extend the contracts for the Predators coaching staff for the 2007-08 season.
The contract extension means that head coach Barry Trotz, associate coach Brent Peterson, assistant coach Peter Horachek, goaltending coach Mitch Korn and video coach Robert Bouchard will return for at least one more season in Nashville.
"Obviously I'm happy to have the opportunity to come back with our staff," Trotz said Friday. "We've made strides every year and we've got some unfinished business here.
"I have a real long relationship with especially Brent and now Peter and obviously David, but I think we feel that we're on the right track and we're continuing down that path. This year, obviously, we had a disappointment in the playoffs, but there were so many good things that were done this year and the last couple years that that's just one of those obstacles we've just got to get over and we will. That is our mandate."
Poile, who had a series of meetings with Trotz and the rest of the coaching staff to dissect the 2006-07 season, spoke Friday about the qualities that led him to bring everyone back again. "My first thought is the quality of people that we have on our staff," he said. "Have you ever heard anybody say anything bad about Barry Trotz as a person? I mean, the guy cares for people, he's charitable, he has time for everybody. He's a guy I want to work with, and I think that's borne out by his assistants, who I know are loyal to him. And our success states to me that the players like to play for him. I like that.
"I like the fact that when I hired Barry when we first started here, he had never coached in the National Hockey League. Thus he was the least senior of any coach in the National Hockey League. I like the fact that today he is second in seniority [with the same organization] and, I feel, one of the best coaches in the National Hockey League."
Although Trotz is coming off a season in which he and his staff set franchise records in wins (51), road wins (23), points (110) and goals (272) before being ousted in the first round of the playoffs by San Jose, the head coach admitted to having a few doubts as he waited for a contract extension. "You just don't know," Trotz said. "It's one of those things when you sit back and you try to reassess what you did, what the team did, hopefully what David is thinking....
"I am a Predator and I always will be a Predator no matter what happens in the future," he said. "This has become home for me and my family and I take a lot of pride in the steps that we've taken as an organization. Some of the steps that we've taken as a young organization are pretty astounding to a lot of people, and sometimes not astounding to even our local people--that we've done so many good things so quickly. That just tells you that we have high expectations for ourselves and for the team and for the community. We're going to take another shot at it all the time. Our goals won't change. We want that silver plate and we're going to go after it again."
Read the accompanying press release