06/18 14:58 CDT Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals
Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals
By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Hockey Writer
Barry Trotz abruptly stepped down as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday
after failing to agree to terms on a new contract, a stunning move that left
the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft later
this week and with free agency coming up fast at the end of the month.
Winning the Cup less than two weeks ago triggered a two-year extension for
Trotz that would have given him a slight bump in salary to just over $2
million, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated
Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team did not
announce the extension.
Trotz and the team could not come to terms on an annual salary that would have
put him in line with other Cup-winning coaches. Toronto's Mike Babcock makes
the most at $6.25 million, Chicago's Joel Quenneville is next at $6 million and
Montreal's Claude Julien brings in $5 million.
"After careful consideration and consultation with my family, I am officially
announcing my resignation," Trotz said. "When I came to Washington four years
ago we had one goal in mind and that was to bring the Stanley Cup to the
nation's capital. We had an incredible run this season culminating with our
players and staff achieving our goal and sharing the excitement with our fans."
In a statement, the team thanked Trotz for his efforts the past four years and
said it was grateful for his leadership and accomplishments. General manager
Brian MacLellan was expected to talk with reporters later Monday.
The 55-year-old Trotz went into the season with an uncertain future after
ownership and MacLellan declined to talk about a contract extension last summer
after back-to-back Presidents' Trophy-winning seasons that ended with
As part of the uneasy arrangement, associate coach Todd Reirden --- who was not
allowed to interview with other teams last summer --- remained on staff and was
considered the coach-in-waiting. Reirden is now the leading candidate to
replace Trotz, who will be an intriguing figure on the coaching market.
Only the New York Islanders have a current coaching vacancy, though given
Trotz's success in Nashville and Washington, other teams might consider making
a move to hire him. Trotz has the fifth-most victories in NHL history and has
guided a team to the playoffs in 11 of his 19 seasons.
Trotz's situation was a significant story line throughout the Capitals'
somewhat surprising playoff run that ended with the first championship in
franchise history. MacLellan said the coach would be back if he wanted to, but
asked the day after the championship parade if he was confident of bringing
Trotz back on a new contract, MacLellan responded: "I don't know. We'll find
That same day, Trotz said: "We got lots of good things going. We'll work
through it. We'll work through what we need to do. If that's what they want,
then something will get done. If not, then we'll deal with that."
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