Barry Trotz will take his leverage elsewhere.
The head coach of the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, who reportedly almost lost his job at multiple points in a tumultuous and yet breakthrough season for the franchise, has decided to step away from his position, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Washington soon confirmed Trotz departure:
Barry Trotz informed the organization today of his decision to resign as head coach of the Washington Capitals. We are obviously disappointed by Barry’s decision, but would like to thank Barry for all his efforts the past four years and for helping bring the Stanley Cup to Washington. Barry is a man of high character and integrity and we are grateful for his leadership and for all that he has done for our franchise.
Trotz earned the job security that Washington was reluctant to give him at the start of the season by leading the club to its first championship. As Friedman notes, the title triggered a two-year extension, but at below market value. The two sides failed to come to terms when they tried to work out a more suitable extension, and Trotz was given permission to explore other opportunities.
Washington’s unwillingness to give Trotz a contract that the coach deemed fair is somewhat bizarre given his accomplishment, but also unsurprising in its context. While it appeared that a title had healed all wounds, and mended the differences that existed between Trotz, GM Brian MacLellan and the executive staff, it’s believed that the two sides were destined for a split long before the Stanley Cup run.
Perhaps on the open market, Trotz can better wield his championship clout to garner a deal that compares more favourably to the top tier of NHL coaching hires.
However it’s not as if an intense bidding war will soon begin. Aside from the Capitals, only the Islanders are without a head coach at the moment, with the Flames, Hurricanes, Stars and Rangers already filling their positions.
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