Barry Trotz (Getty Images)
Barry Trotz had an emotional moment behind the bench in his return to Nashville on Friday, as the Predators paid tribute to their former coach with a video montage and standing ovation.
Physically speaking, there’s no sturdier-looking coach than Washington bench boss Barry Trotz. The guy’s built like a bomb shelter. But the former Predators coach was clearly shaken up on Friday when his old team paid tribute to his 15-year career with the Nashville franchise.
Fans waved their towels, stood on their feet and applauded while Trotz graciously waved from the Washington Capitals bench during the first TV timeout.
Here's the tribute, which included special shout-outs to assistant coaches Mitch Korn and Lane Lambert. The video includes audio of an emotional Trotz bidding farewell to the city at his final press conference from last summer.
The television broadcast only showed the tail end of the tribute because of the commercial break, but it was still enough to capture the spirit of the moment.
Trotz definitely wipes away a tear, and you can’t blame him. He spent 15 seasons in Nashville. That's longer than many players' NHL careers.
Trotz was the driving force behind the Predators for those 15 seasons, guiding them from their infancy as an expansion team to become a perennial contender for a playoff spot. The man did a lot with very little at times, and the Nashville franchise is where it is in large part thanks to his contributions. He won a total of 557 games with the franchise before landing with the Capitals this off-season.
Nashville won Friday's game by a score of 4-3.