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PHT Morning Skate: Trotz firing reactions; ‘soft’ Rangers

In a shocking move, the Islanders fired Barry Trotz despite trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in three of his four seasons as head coach of the franchise, with GM Lou Lamoriello saying the team needed a new voice.

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.

• Why Barry Trotz going back home to Winnipeg with the Jets makes a lot of sense. [Sportsnet]

• “There were certainly times this season when it seemed like the Islanders were not responding well to the actions of Trotz but again, in what was the craziest season in quite some time and certainly did not seem to be the prime issue.” [NY Hockey Now]

“The concern for Lou skeptics is — and this goes back to his Toronto tenure and his final several years in Jersey — his roster construction and cap management has been puzzling. Is bringing a new coach to this same group going to make the critical difference?” [Lighthouse Hockey]

• “We played soft. We were soft all over the ice. That’s the biggest difference. We were soft all over the ice,” said Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant, who noted Igor Shesterkin will start Game 5. [NY Post]

• Hampus Lindholm skated on Monday and will play in Game 5, if cleared. Meanwhile, it’s like unlikely we see Charlie McAvoy back for Game 5. [NBC Sports Boston]

• The Flames performed in Game 4 like they had been doing before the playoff. [TSN]

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 First Round schedule, TV info]

• Matt Barzal, Logan Thompson, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Josh Anderson are among the NHLers heading to the IIHF World Championship to play for Canada. [Hockey Canada]

• The time has come for Jesse Puljujarvi and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to play together. [Copper and Blue]

• Will Pierre McGuire return to our TV screens soon? Maybe, now that he’s been fired by the Senators less than a year into his job as VP of player development. [PHT]

• On the Senators firing McGuire: “As a highly recognizable personality who also happened to be one of the organization’s first major external hires since 2003, I could understand the discomfort that his presence probably created — especially since Melnyk hired him unilaterally. Since inheriting the general manager title in 2016, Dorion may have felt like McGuire was a threat to his job.” [Graeme Nichols]

• Exploring a season to forget for the Montreal Canadiens. [NBC Sports Edge]


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.