A Little More to the Barry Trotz Resignation Story

The news of Barry Trotz’ resignation Monday afternoon did not come as a complete surprise for many. There had been numerous reports throughout the season that things were not all warm and fuzzy down at Capitals HQ (Kettler Capitals Iceplex). However, both sides seemed to be saying the right things to the media ever since the Capitals hoisted the Cup in Vegas, so there was a ray of hope that winning it all just might cure what ailed. Apparently not. 

Some background to the resignation. By winning the Cup, Barry Trotz’ existing contract, which would have expired on July 1st, had an automatic two-year extension built in, with a $300,000 raise included. It is surmised that the new contract value would still have him remaining in the bottom third of the league as far as head coaches salaries are concerned.

The Capitals could have allowed Trotz to decline the extension, and try to renegotiate a new deal, but elected to pass on re-signing Trotz. Something that in hindsight, seemed to have been a foregone conclusion.

This further backs up the theory that the writing was on the wall, well before the Capitals hoisted the Stanley Cup.

You may recall the media buzz that swirled around his hand shake with Blue Jackets coach John Tortarella at the conclusion of the first round of the playoffs this year. Some expert lip readers thought Trotz told Tortarella “I’m gone, I’m gone, I’m not coming back, I’m gone”.

It is likely that current Capitals coach Todd Reirden is next in line for the bench boss duties, but there is still plenty to work out.

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan met with the media at 6:00 p.m., to answer questions regarding Trotz’ departure. MacLellan noted that the term of contract was the primary sticking point during negotiations with Trotz’ management.

MacLellan implied that Trotz was looking for 5 years at $5 million per season. MacLellan felt the two sides were at an impasse and accepted Trotz’ resignation from the team.

MacLellan also seamed to imply that Trotz’ contract ask wasn’t unreasonable, and gave the impression that the decision was an organizational decision. MacLellan even appeared to become emotional at one point, stating he thinks Trotz probably does deserve to be paid as a top four or five head coach, but not every team is willing to pay that.

MacLellan was asked about finding a replacement for Trotz. He mentioned that Todd Reirden will be the first interview. Judging by follow-up questions and MacLellan’s responses, it sounds like the job is Reirden’s to lose.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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14 Responses to A Little More to the Barry Trotz Resignation Story

  1. Chad Atkinson says:

    Wow the business of hockey. I waited 44 years for this cup and less than one week from the parade they don’t hookup the coach that got it. WTF!!!!

  2. Caps1974 says:

    Hate for Barry’s time in DC to end like this.

    I imagine this was as much about respect as it was about money, and unfortunately it looks like the Caps couldn’t pony up enough of something that wouldn’t have cost them a dollar.

    Godspeed Barry Trotz!

  3. This one is puzzling as hell, frankly. Having just brought us Lord Stanley’s Cup, BT was holding all the cards and seemingly had whatever leverage he needed to wheedle a better contract out of GMBM (with whom he’d been at swords points for quite some time per the rumor mill–and perhaps that’s been the rub all along…)

    Anyway, I hope he’s in great health. He should be in great spirits and will have absolutely ZERO problems landing a plum job somewhere else if any are available around the league in the months ahead…otherwise he can cool his heels for a while as a color commentator until something he really likes comes along…

    Good Luck to you and your family, Barry, and THANKS A THOUSAND TIMES OVER for leading this team to a Stanley Cup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  4. DayOne Caps Fanatic says:

    This ugly little story quickly takes the shine off our Stanley Cup apple. I recall two “Caps-like” comparisons. First we remember when it was time to examine if we needed to replace GM George McPhee. The unpleasant summer of 2014, Caps’ owner and ultra-high front office people held this long, drawn-out self-examination period. Was it three or four weeks? Anyway they contemplated for a long time before deciding to release George and hire Brian. It worked out well in the long run, but one couldn’t call it “The Era of Good Feelings.” My other least favorite Caps Front Office affair was L’Affaire Butch Cassidy. I thought BC was a miserable replacement for Ron Wilson, but worse was that, not too many months into his tenure, Mr. Cassidy had to tell us and the Press that he was going to be the “best father I can be” after mating with some sweet young thing not his wife. Caps Ownership did NOT want to talk about it at all. Well, those were two low points, and this one is a nausea inducer. I’ll take my Stanley Cup after all these years and failures, but that big Washington Capitals’ Championship Happy Family event coming up at Indian Head (I conjecture that is in the works) will be missing some important alumni.

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