Preds' Barry Trotz is now the longest-serving NHL coach. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters)
Barry Trotz could see the question coming all the way from Nashville.
When Lindy Ruff was fired Wednesday after nearly 16 years as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, Trotz knew exactly where it left him.
“As the next coach to be fired — is that what you’re trying to say?” a chuckling Trotz said, just before hitting the ice for a Predators practice.
Actually, that wasn’t what I was getting at.
The 50-year-old former Winnipegger and product of Dauphin, Man., is now the longest tenured bench boss in the NHL, with nearly 15 years under his belt.
As unheard-of as Ruff’s run with the Sabres was, Trotz’s in Nashville is no less remarkable. He’s the only coach the Preds franchise has known.
And while his sense of humour certainly helps, the former Dauphin Kings (MJHL) and University of Manitoba head man says there’s a simple recipe for that kind of longevity — even though every head coach knows it’s complicated as hell.