Days after the New York Islanders knocked the Washington Capitals out of the playoffs, the Capitals fired head coach Todd Reirden. The now-former Capitals coach replaced Barry Trotz following the Capitals Stanely Cup run in 2018.
Trotz famously departed Washington after the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on a new contract.
“It’s part of what you sign up (for in) coaching,” Trotz said when asked about the firing. “That’s what you accept when you become a head coach in the National Hockey League. Just wish him well.”
Trotz coached the Capitals for four years and led the franchise to its first championship in 2018. Reirden was named coached shortly after Trotz left due to the contract dispute.
The Capitals have seen early playoff exits in the two years that Reirden was coach, including 4-1 series loss to Trotz and the Islanders this year. Trotz has Taken the Islanders to the Second Round in his first two years on Long Island.
Trotz’s success with the Islanders has put the spotlight back onto the Capitals’ decision to not give him a pay raise after the Cup win.
“It’s disappointing for us that we couldn’t come to an agreement, a compromise on the negotiations,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said about the contract talks with Trotz in 2018. “I think if you looked at the way we went about our business we wanted to try and bring everybody back to repeat as champions. Coaches and players. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to negotiate something with Barry that made sense to both sides.”
MacLellan contended that the Capitals were willing to pay market value for Trotz, but that it was the term that became the sticking point.
The Capitals GM also made it clear that Reriden’s firing wasn’t impacted by the fact that it was a Trotz coached team that eliminated them.
“It’s two years ago. We went our separate ways with Barry,” MacLellan said. “It’s more the things I’ve been talking about. The way we play. We couldn’t find a consistent compete level through that whole tournament.”
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