Former Washington Capitals bench boss and Stanley Cup champion Barry Trotz reflected on his time coaching Alex Ovechkin Thursday afternoon during an appearance on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central. Trotz was asked whether or not he enjoyed coaching superstars because his Islanders are a team without one.
“I love superstars,” Trotz said. “I’ve had the opportunity to have different style teams with similar identities but opposite identities in some ways. Obviously my former place in Washington you got stars like Alex Ovechkin. Those are great challenges because you’re looking at a player who does something very unique and trying to grow him in areas.”
Trotz would also add, “In Alex’s case, he grew as a person, as a leader, defensively. I loved the way he’s grown away from the game,” Trotz added. “He values his value systems a lot different than it was when he was 21 or 22 years old and turning the league on its ear with his talent and his passion and growing to become a really good leader in the league in the right areas and understanding the balance between all that.”
Trotz coached the Capitals from 2014 to 2018. He went 205-89-34 with the Capitals, winning three division titles, two Presidents’ Trophies, a Jack Adams Award and capped off his tenure there with a Stanley Cup championship. Ovechkin won three Rocket Richard Trophies and earned the Conn Smythe on his team’s Cup run during the “Trotz era”.
Back on January 10, following an Islanders morning skate at Capital One Arena, Trotz was asked about whether he thought Ovechkin would break Wayne Gretzky’s goals record. “If I was a betting man, I would bet on [Ovechkin] breaking [Wayne Gretzky’s] goal-scoring record. In my mind, there’s no doubt he’s going to do it.”
“He’s going to get them,” Trotz told Tom Gulitti of NHL.com. “Obviously, I’ve seen him get 500 and 600 [goals].
You can listen to the entire Trotz interview from today right here.