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When it was announced that former Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz had resigned from his post after negotiations on terms of his two-year extension fell through, there was likely shock running all throughout the fan base. Just over a week after winning the Stanley Cup, Trotz walked away. And while the possibility of Associate Coach Todd Reirden taking the reins might be enough to comfort some, the latest development in the Trotz-Capitals saga could make the Capitals’ refusal to give Trotz term (something General Manager Brian MacLellan said was a sticking point) may ultimately end up costing them more than the franchise’s only coach to win a championship.
During his conference call with the media on Thursday, Trotz revealed that Capitals assistant coach Lane Lambert and Director of Goaltending Mitch Korn were possibilities to join him in New York, where it was announced today that Trotz had signed what was believed to be a five-year contract worth $4 million a season. While it isn’t particularly surprising, considering that Lambert and Korn followed Trotz to Washington after working with him in Nashville with the Predators, if that in fact does happen, the Capitals will have lost half of their coaching staff (Trotz, Lambert, Blaine Forsythe, and Reirden were the four coaches behind the bench the past four seasons) in just a matter of days, not to mention a man who helped turn starting goaltender Braden Holtby into a Vezina Trophy winner and one of the best netminders in the game today.
No one is expecting Lou Lamoriello to confirm anything…but word here in DAL is a five-year deal for Trotz at least $4M per year.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 21, 2018
Trotz mentioned Lane Lambert could be joining him in New York.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) June 21, 2018
While nothing has been made official (And per The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan, MacLellan has been talking to Korn), the fact that two valuable members of the Capitals” coaching staff and front office would even consider leaving the defending Stanley Cup champions to join a man the Caps themselves had a chance to keep, shows just how respected and valuable Trotz is. Lambert has worked wonders with the Capitals’ penalty kill over the last four seasons and Korn has worked wonders with the Capitals’ netminders. Losing both would be a huge blow for the organization and would leave MacLellan not only searching for a new Head Coach, but also having to fill out the rest of his coaching staff while worrying about the team’s numerous free agents.
IF both Lambert and Korn leave, the Capitals will have dug themselves a hole that they haven’t had to dig out of in four years. Refusing to give Trotz the term and salary a Stanley Cup-winning coach often deserves may not only have cost them their beloved Head Coach, but potentially half of their entire coaching staff. It is now up to them to fill that proverbial hole back in.
By Michael Fleetwood