Almost immediately after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup Barry Trotz stepped down from his position as head coach. While there was speculation that he may leave in the offseason or potentially retire, nobody expected him to resign as quickly as he did. It seemed clear that there was another team he had his eyes on, and on June 21st Trotz signed a 5 year $20 million deal with New York’s forgotten child, the Islanders.
While this move may come as surprising and understandably hurtful to many die-hard Caps fans, it is not the end of the world and I’ll tell you why.
There is no denying that Barry Trotz is a fantastic coach and arguably the best in the league. That being said, there are a lot of important players such as John Carlson and Jay Beagle that the team wants to resign. Signing those guys and Barry Trotz simply would have been too expensive for the Capitals, as Carlson will surely ask for a lot of money.
Luckily for the Caps, I think they should be able to rebound well from this. I know that Trotz is the coach who finally won us a cup, but to be fair we have had basically the same amount of regular season, and minus this year, postseason success over the past ten years with four different coaches. As long as we still have the core of Ovi, Holtby, Backstrom, Oshie, and hopefully Carlson, I can’t imagine the team having much of a drop off from last season.
This poses the question of who will become the next head coach of the Capitals. Rumors are circulating that the team is showing interest in former Penguins bench boss Dan Bylsma. Barry’s right-hand man and assistant coach Todd Reirden is being interviewed as a potential candidate as well.
While our coach leaving immediately after a championship is not the ideal position to be in, I feel confident in the GM Brian Maclellan as well as the players we still have on this team.
Repeating as champions is an incredibly difficult task that is going to take another level of dedication from this team. However, with the talent we have, it would be hard to imagine us not being contenders again. As the Great 8 once said, “We’re not gonna be fucking suck this year.”