It would be natural for Barry Trotz to take a nice, relaxing summer following the NHL playoff grind that saw his Washington Capitals secure the Stanley Cup. But relaxation is the polar opposite of what he has been up to.
Right after finishing the grind to win the Cup, Trotz left the Capitals and joined an Islanders team that needed a lot of work. He teamed up with new president of hockey operations, Lou Lamoriello, and has been constructing his coaching staff and roster since his transition to Long Island.
But a quick break will be in the works next week when the Cup is in Trotz' hands for the first time since the victory on Aug. 22. He knows it will be short-lived, though.
"I've had a lot of things on my plate this summer," Trotz told The Athletic's Arthur Staple. "We obviously went deep in the playoffs and then the celebration of winning a Cup, followed by a quick transition over to the Island. I'm actually, for the first time since I resigned in Washington, I'm actually getting back to Washington. My daughter's getting married, we've got a Cup date, looking for a house. Been a very busy summer.
"We've gotten a lot done and there's still a lot to do. It's good that we've got a month to go before training camp. I feel very confident in what we're doing. Communicating with Lou, we're knocking out one thing at a time. Rome's not built in a day so we don't expect it to be."
Trotz admits that he hasn't had the time to reflect on this past season with his focus entirely on the Islanders this upcoming year. But he hopes to change that for a day.
"It's obviously a little different. You're focused on winning a Cup in Washington, you work with some great people and have some fantastic memories and all of a sudden you're with another organization and your focus is on your new team, getting to know the people there and how things are done, how you'd like things done, all that. I probably haven't been able to celebrate the Cup victory as much as probably other people in the organization, but it's still been very special."
As for what Trotz plans to do with the Cup, he laid out the itinerary. It includes a parade in his hometown of Dauphin, Manitoba, a family and friends dinner, and of course, alone time with the precious trophy to finish off the night.
However, Trotz' mind has envisioned the Cup in Long Island yet again.
"My job now is to see if we can raise the flag on Long Island. There's some great traditions here, the teams that were the best in the league for a number of years. The Trottiers, the Bossys, the Torreys and those people. We need to get back to that tradition. There's some good pieces here and we need to get back to the Cup again."
But why leave to a team that isn't as stable as Washington? Trotz admits Lamoriello's winning pedigree is what enticed him to make the move.
"What intrigued me about coming here was working with Lou. He's won in this league. And I can bring a lot to the table in terms of culture. I've won a lot in this league. I think we have the same sort of moral basis of how we do things.
"We can get this going in the right direction. The changes Lou's made to this point are extraordinary - we're under construction. It's a great thing. We want to build something great here."