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.
Barry Trotz had a clause in his contract where if he won the Stanley Cup he could accept a two-year extension with a $300k bump in salary. Obviously since he was only making $1.5M, low by today’s NHL coach’s standards, a $1.8-million salary doesn’t cut it. So Trotz stepped down.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 18, 2018
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.
The Capitals could’ve theoretically let Trotz decline the two-year, Stanley Cup-triggered option and renegotiated at a higher salary, if they were hellbent on keeping him. Clearly an impa$$e was hit in talks.
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) June 18, 2018
This further backs up the theory that the writing was on the wall, well before the Capitals hoisted the Stanley Cup.
We shouldn’t be surprised about Trotz’s resignation…indications all season that this would happen, one way or the other. Was told in January “Barry thinks he can get a job in 3 minutes” if he leaves.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 18, 2018
FWIW, I had heard from several people who knew Trotz that he likely would be leaving Caps after this season. I don’t think it’s related to a specific opening, but he will get a chance to become coach, front office staff or broadcaster elsewhere.
— Ted Starkey (@TedStarkey) June 18, 2018
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.
WSH has been grooming assistant coach Todd Reirden to succeed Barry Trotz and that is the highly likely next step, although not before GM Brian MacLellan and Reirden go through something of a quasi-formal interview/discussion just to drill down on the potential succession plan.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 18, 2018
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 said term was an issue with new contract.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) June 18, 2018
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.
MacLellan: “We need to take a breather, but Todd (Reirden) is a good candidate….. But would like to do a formal interview with him.”
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) June 18, 2018
By Jon Sorensen