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 #ALLCAPS won just one game in the first round this year, the fewest first round victories since the 1999-2000 season.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) August 22, 2020
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:
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) August 23, 2020
By Harrison Brown