Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz announced his resignation on Monday—just two weeks after he lead them to their Stanley Cup Championship win.
Obviously, the announcement came as a huge surprise to NHL coaches, players, and fans. Trotz and the Capitals front office members never spoke badly of each other to the media, and have worked closely together since Trotz was hired.
Trotz lead the Capitals to the playoffs every year since becoming the head coach in 2014, including three seasons at the top of their conference. His record with the Capitals over the past four years, 205-89-34, was the best among all head coaches in the league.
“After careful consideration and consultation with my family, I am officially announcing my resignation as head coach of the Washington Capitals,” Trotz said in a statement, via ESPN. “When I came to Washington four years ago we had one goal in mind and that was to bring the Stanley Cup to the national’s capital. We had an incredible run this season culminating with our players and staff achieving our goal and sharing the excitement with our fans.”
Trotz’s contract allowed him to sign a two-year extension with the Capitals if he won the Stanley Cup. The Capitals and Trotz seemed to have a good professional relationship over the years but were unable to come to a salary agreement when they tried to negotiate a new contract.
“I would like to thank [Capitals owner Ted Leonsis], [Capitals president] Dick Patrick and [general manager] Brian MacLellan for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great organization,” Trotz said. “I would also like to thank our players and staff who worked tirelessly every day to achieve our success.”
Since Trotz last signed a contract with the team, NHL head coach salaries have significantly improved and Trotz will be looking to join coaches like the Chicago Blackhawks’ Joel Quenneville ($6 million a year), and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mike Babcock ($6.25 million). Trotz has always been one of the most respected head coaches in the league, and now that he has Stanley Cup experience under his belt, Trotz is a prime candidate for any NHL team.
“[Trotz] is a man of high character and integrity and we are grateful for his leadership and for all that he has done for our franchise,” the Capitals statement, released on Monday, said. “We are obviously disappointed by [Trotz’s] decision but would like to thank Barry for all his efforts the past four years and for helping bring the Stanley Cup to Washington.”
The only NHL team that currently does not have a head coach is the New York Islanders, but more head coaching positions will likely open up as the offseason continues. The Capitals meanwhile are expected to reassign their current associate head coach, Todd Reirden, to Trotz’s now vacant position.
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