Earlier this season, during stops in Vancouver and Edmonton, respectively, the Capitals delivered Stanley Cup rings to former players Jay Beagle and Alex Chiasson, both members of the team during their run to the 2018 Stanley Cup championship. Prior to the team’s game against the New York Islanders on Monday night, the team presented former Head Coach Barry Trotz, assistant coach Lane Lambert, and goalie coach Mitch Korn, with their own championship rings.
In an interview with the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan (here), Trotz commented on his current relationship with his former team. “I love those guys over there,” Trotz said Sunday. “There’s a bond and a relationship with those players that will never go away.” [Video: Monumental Sports and Entertainment]
Trotz would go on to say that “People said they didn’t have it in them, but after the fact, they always did,” Trotz said. “They always had it in them; they just needed to continue down the path, and they were probably more resilient mentally. … They got it, and they’ll always have it now. That’s why when all the boys there said, ‘Let’s repeat,’ they got it. They’re not going to wither in the big moments anymore.”
Hired by the Capitals in 2014, Trotz coached the team for four seasons, and despite leading the franchise to its first championship, a contract dispute led to the veteran bench boss resigning his position as Head Coach. Shortly thereafter, he signed a long-term deal to become the Head Coach of the Islanders, to whom he has led to a 12-8-2 record through 22 games this season.
Close-up of the Stanley Cup ring. pic.twitter.com/CyUj8jYbnY
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 26, 2018
During his four seasons in D.C., Trotz led the Capitals to two 50-plus win seasons (including a franchise best 56 in 2015-16), two President’s Trophies, three Metropolitan Division titles, and an Eastern Conference and Stanley Cup championship last season. He finished his four-year stint in the District with a 205-89-34 regular season record and a 36-27 playoff record. He finished his career in Washington as the winningest Head Coach in the regular seasons in terms of winning percentage (.677), second-winningest coach in the regular season in terms of wins (to only Bryan Murray’s 343), and the winningest coach in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in franchise history.
Stanley Cup rings presented by Caps to Isles coach Barry Trotz and assistants. pic.twitter.com/3ETJGBMOAk
— Mark Herrmann (@markpherrmann) November 26, 2018
Lambert and Korn both joined Trotz in Washington (and subsequently in New York) when he arrived from the Nashville Predators. Both played key roles in their own right in the Caps’ run to the Stanley Cup. Lambert was the mastermind behind the team’s lethal power play and helped the development of young players such as Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, and Tom Wilson. Korn, a renowned goalie guru, helped develop Capitals starter Braden Holtby into a Vezina Trophy-winning netminder, and under his tutelage, Holtby tied legendary netminder Martin Brodeur for the most wins in a regular season in 2015-16. Former Capitals backup (and current Colorado Avalanche netminder) Philipp Grubauer, also developed and performed well under the direction of Korn, who became the Caps’ Director of Goaltending last season, a position he currently holds with the Islanders.
By Michael Fleetwood