Thursday afternoon, Elliott Friedman of Sportsnet released his weekly 31 thoughts column. #26 on the list centered on speculation that Capitals bench boss Barry Trotz may have publicly stated he won’t be back with the Capitals next season.
The theory is that after the Capitals won Game 6 of their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Trotz told Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella, “I’m gone. I’m gone. I’m not coming back. I’m gone.”
I’m not one for predictions, so no chance I’m weighing in on a topical take du jour: whether or not this is Washington’s year. But, it’s hard not to be impressed with how the Capitals have handled this season. Last year’s defeat was devastating, and the franchise still isn’t over it. They’re not as deep as they were, there’ve been season-long contract questions about the GM (since answered), the coach (no contract) and the top defenceman (no contract). Just read John Tortorella’s and Barry Trotz’s lips here (video via NHL Prospects Watcher):
Following the Capitals Game 1 loss to the Penguins, Trotz was asked by a reporter about what was said in Friedman’s story. After a long pause, a puzzled Trotz shrugged it off, saying that wasn’t what they were talking about.
Regardless, this is the last year of Trotz’s contract. Associate coach Todd Reirden could step in as head coach next season if the Capitals decide not to renew Trotz’s contract. Perhaps that was the reason why the Caps didn’t allow Reirden to interview with other teams for a head coaching job last summer.
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan, who’s own contract was recently extended, has publicly stated that no decision has been made regarding Trotz’ potential contract extension, and that nothing would be determined until after the season. There have also been recent reports of the two parties not getting along for more than a year.
By Michael Marzzacco