One possibility is for Barry Trotz to lie on a couch.
Instead, the Nashville Predators coach will stand behind a bench to work through the frustration of a disappointing season. He will be an associate coach for Team Canada at the 2013 World Championships, which begins Friday — seven days since the Predators wrapped with a loss to Columbus.
“When you don’t make the playoffs — for me, it’s like therapy this year,” Trotz said. “I sort of have closure on this year and I get to do something.”
Canada begins play Saturday with a game against Denmark at Stockholm, Sweden (half of the event also takes place at Helsinki, Finland). The medal round begins May 16 and the championship game is May 19.
Trotz will coach a team that currently includes such notable NHL players as Philadelphia forward Claude Giroux, Edmonton forward Taylor Hall, Carolina forward Jordan Staal, Florida defenseman Brian Campbell and Phoenix goalie Mike Smith.
Former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is the head coach, and Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett is, like Trotz, an associate coach. Those three filled the same roles in 2009, when Canada won a silver medal.
“We’ll be sitting there dissecting some of the stuff for Team Canada and from the other opponents, maybe just sitting round at lunch and start talking about a certain aspect of the game or what you do with your teams during the year,” Trotz said. “… It’s different hockey. So from a hockey standpoint you have to expand you’re horizons a little bit. And you’re with really high-level people — high-level players — in a short-term competition.”
This is the third time Trotz has been an assistant for Canada at the event. Perhaps it is just coincidence, but in the years that followed the last two (2003 and 2009) the Predators made the NHL playoffs.
“You get the competitive juices going,” Trotz said. “You get some different ideas. You see things a little differently and it’s a good thing because it only helps for next year.”
It certainly has not hurt.