Trotz says leaving Caps was matter of principle

Brian Tinsman
June 24, 2018 - 10:46 pm

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


The Washington Capitals didn't let the gleam of the Stanley Cup trophy blind them in negotiations with Barry Trotz; nor did it cause Trotz to accept a sub-market value offer.

That's why the two went their separate ways last week, just days after hoisting the first championship trophy in franchise history.

Finally able to reflect on the moment, Trotz explained it was a pragmatic business decision.

"When it came to the business aspect, from my standpoint, I felt that it wasn’t really sincere [given] what we did together," he said of the Caps' offer, which reportedly would have only extended him for two seasons at $1.5 million. "I got the [counteroffer], I guess I knew it was time to go in a different direction."

"I decided that it was better to just move on.”

Part of what made the news of his departure so jarring was that it brought an abrupt end to the championship honeymoon. It also happened on a condensed timeline on the eve of the NHL Draft. While the draft doesn't always involve the coach's direct input, the New York Islanders wanted to get this deal done before launching into a condensed offseason.

"It happened really quickly because you go from one emotion of winning the cup to the next emotion of leaving the team that you just won the Cup with, and you have to make some quick decisions," Trotz told the media. "I know the timing of it—end of the season, the draft coming up, free agency [and] all that—there was some urgency on that.

"Both parties knew that, so we went to work at it and got it done...It’s good to be wanted."

The move leaves the Stanley Cup Champions with the only coaching vacancy in the NHL, and the possibility of having the staff further depleted as Trotz fills out his staff. The conventional wisdom, being discussed publicly, is that the Caps will fill the bench boss position internally, perhaps tapping associate coach Todd Reirden with the top duty.

As for Trotz, he leaves D.C. with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction to go with his $4 million per year salary.

"Obviously, I love the D.C. area...I thank the fans," he said. "I’m glad we could get it done. I said we could get it done in four years, and we did."


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