Barry Trotz steps down as Capitals head coach

June 18, 2018

Barry Trotz has stepped down as the head coach of the Washington Capitals, the team announced Monday.

With Trotz at the helm, the Capitals won the 2018 Stanley Cup.

“Barry Trotz informed the organization today of his decision to resign as head coach of the Washington Capitals,” the team said in a statement. “We are obviously disappointed by Barry’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. Barry 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.”

“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. “When I came to Washington four years ago we had one goal in mind and that was to bring the Stanley Cup to the nation’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 also thanked Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, vice chairman Dick Patrick and general manager Brian MacLellan for the opportunity to coach the team.

“I would also like to thank our players and staff who worked tirelessly every day to achieve our success,” Trotz said.

The Capitals went 205-89-34 in four regular seasons under Trotz; their 444 standings points is the highest mark of any NHL team in that span. They won the Presidents’ Trophy for best regular-season record in 2015 and 2016, and Trotz won the 2016 Jack Adams Award for coach of the year.

Before coming to Washington, Trotz was the first head coach of the Nashville Predators. The team went 557-479-60-100 in his 15-year tenure there, a .533 points percentage.Trotz’s 762 career wins are fifth-most in NHL history.

Until the Capitals’ Stanley Cup run this year, playoff performance was a knock on Trotz’s legacy almost as much as it was on Alex Ovechkin’s. His Predators couldn’t get out of the first round of the playoffs until 2011, and this year was the first time a Trotz-coached team advanced to a conference finals.

Asked after winning the Stanley Cup if he wanted to remain with Washington, Trotz said after winning the Cup, “Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.” And last week, at the team’s “breakdown day,” the coach said there were some “issues” the two sides had to work out in contract negotiations, but reiterated his desire to return to Washington.

“If we can get them worked out, then there’s no question. I love the group of guys,” Trotz said last Wednesday. “I love the situation I’m in with the team the location for my son and my wife and all that. So all that’s in place.”

But Elliotte Friedman of Canadian outlet Sportsnet reported that Trotz’s contract came with a two-year extension, previously undisclosed to the public, if the Capitals won the Cup during his tenure. Because that extension was not up to the current market value, Trotz and the team could not negotiate new terms to please both sides.

We had believed Trotz was a free agent this summer. Thats not correct. There was a two-year extension if he won the Cup in WASH. But, as coaches contracts have exploded in value, it was below the current market. Both sides tried to negotiate an extension.... Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 18, 2018

MacLellan is scheduled to speak to the media at 6 p.m. Monday.

It’s unknown who the Capitals will turn to for their next head coach, but one likely candidate is associate coach Todd Reirden, who is looked on fondly within the organization.