Off the heels of an exciting Stanley Cup Championship, The Washington Capitals are in search of a new head coach. In what can only be considered a surprising turn of events, Barry Trotz becomes the first head coach to step down following a championship since Scotty Bowman in 2002.
Details are still emerging, but speculation is that there was a disconnect in the salary expectations between Trotz and the Capitals organization. Trotz was currently making $1.5M which is lower than many coaches with less success and coaching experience. He’s sure to get a raise as the most coveted coach now available on the market.
Barry Trotz had a clause in his contract where if he won the Stanley Cup he could accept a two-year extension with a $300k bump in salary. Obviously since he was only making $1.5M, low by today's NHL coach's standards, a $1.8-million salary doesn't cut it. So Trotz stepped down.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 18, 2018
“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,” Trotz said in the statement. “We had an incredible run this season culminating with our players and staff achieving our goal and sharing the excitement with our fans. I would like to thank Mr. Leonsis, Dick Patrick and Brian MacLellan for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great organization. I would also like to thank our players and staff who worked tirelessly every day to achieve our success.”
As a result of his departure, Trotz becomes a free agent and is free to sign with any team within the NHL. Coincidentally, the New York Islanders are without a coach given the firing of Doug Weight and are looking for an experienced coach to lead under Lou Lamoriello. This may also cause a shake-up around the league as some teams are in need of a change or pace or different level of NHL leadership and experience. Under Trotz, the Capitals have won 205 games in his four seasons in charge and were recipients of the President’s Trophy in both 2016 and 2017. He was also the recipient of the Jack Adams award as the NHL’s best coach in 2016.