Capitals Fire Head Coach Todd Reirden

NHL.comPhoto: NHL.com

The Washington Capitals have relieved head coach Todd Reirden of his coaching duties, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

“We have higher expectations for our team, and we felt a fresh approach in leadership was necessary,” said MacLellan. “We would like to thank Todd for all of his hard work and efforts with our organization. Todd has been a big part of our team for more than half a decade, including our Stanley Cup run in 2018, and we wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”

Reirden, 49, was the 18th head coach in franchise history and led the club to a 89-46-16 record from 2018-20. He had two seasons remaining on his contract, according to The Athletic’s Craig Custance.

Reirden was part of the Capitals’ coaching staff for six seasons, including two as an assistant from 2014-2016 and two as an associate from 2016-18. He worked with the defense on Barry Trotz’s staff from 2014-2018 and was promoted after Trotz resigned on June 18, 2018.

The Capitals ended the regular-season by going 19-16-3, including 8-9-3 in their final 20 games, before the NHL paused due to COVID-19 after a 26-6-5 start to the season. Their average of 3.44 goals-against per game after December 22 was the most of any of the 24 qualifying round teams. The Capitals arguably came up short of expectations in Reirden’s first two seasons as head coach, falling in the first round to teams they should have beaten and getting outplayed and, some argue, out-coached in both series. Reirden did not want to discuss his job security after the team’s 4-0 season-ending loss in Game 5 on Thursday.

The team scored just eight goals in five games against the Islanders after averaging 3.42 goals-per-game during the regular season, second in the NHL, and allowed an average of 3.07 goals-per-game, 18th. In addition, the Capitals’ power-play failed to live up to its potential under Reirden as their 20.1% power-play efficiency over his two seasons were tied for 15th. However, the penalty-kill performed well under Reirden as it was 12th with an 80.7% efficiency.

The Capitals advanced past the first round in every season under Trotz and have won the Metropolitan Division for five straight seasons.

Head coaches available include former Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant, Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviollette, and Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery.

The Capitals released the following statement on Reirden’s behalf:

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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7 Responses to Capitals Fire Head Coach Todd Reirden

  1. hockeydruid says:

    Not unexpected but a little surprised that with such a short offseason that they would make that decision now rather than after next season. Going to be very interesting to see not only who they bring in but do they really start a rebuild now.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Good point Druid. I also thought that the pause in play would save his job, even though the team has been playing really poorly since last December. Also surprised it happened on a Sunday, but it is what is, and it’s the right move.

      • hockeydruid says:

        I agree and saving $$$ on your HC is wrong as has just been proven. Now will they pay for a good HC or look for someone cheap like Reardon, as Im sure his salary was not that much compared to other HC. After all you get what you pay for and Ted should know that. Also wonder how long GMBM will be around as he is doing nothing more than what GMGM did but not as good. Loyalty to your staff is good but maybe now is the time to clean house and start the rebuild with a new GM, HC and letting most of the free agents walk and fill in with our young guys and start to use our draft picks wisely rather than for trade to reduce salary cap or get aging vets to try and make one more playoff run.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This should’ve been done after last season IMO. It was pretty obvious after one season that TR either doesn’t have what it takes to be head coach or was promoted too early. Waiting one more year because of the short off season would’ve been the wrong move.

    • Marky says:

      Agree but rarely is that done unless bad behavior involved…glad he’s gone. Please bring in experiences coach with some passion.

      • Marky says:

        Also going to defend GMBM here as this shows the players that he ain’t f’n around. Now McClellan needs to make sure his new coach has a few players to change the chem up to new coaches liking. On to 2021!

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Definitely agree. Writing was already on the wall with regarding to coaching, in game adjustments, and inability to adapt.

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