The New York Islanders are looking to hire a new head coach in the next few days and the best possible option just made his way onto the market. Former Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz, who is just two weeks from winning the Stanley Cup with the team, will not be returning to the team next season.
Trotz released this statement following the Capitals’ announcement of his resignation, via ABC’s Scott Abraham:
“After careful consideration and consultation with my family, I am officially announcing my resignation as head coach of the Washington Capitals. 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 thi sseason culminating with our players and staffa chieving 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.”
It was believed that Trotz’s contract had expired once Washington’s season ended with a first championship in franchise history, but a clause in his deal ensured a two-year extension had he won the Cup.
“We are obviously disappointed by Barry’s decision,” the Capitals released in a statement. “But [we] would like to thank Barry for all his efforts the past four years and for helping bring the Stanley Cup to Washington.”
Trotz is one of the best coaches in the NHL, but the uncertainty of his future in Washington created by management had he not won a title could have been the main factor as to why he left.
The 55-year-old led the Capitals to four-straight 100-point seasons and two President’s Trophies as the team with the most points accrued in a season. But in each of his first three seasons, Trotz could not take Washington past the second round of the playoffs, which created questions of his job security entering this season.
Now with a championship to his name, Trotz enters a market that only sees one team in need of a head coach at the moment and that’s the New York Islanders. Granted, his availability could change that.
New president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello has brought about sweeping changes within the ranks of the organization, firing general manager Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight earlier this month. The Hall-of-Fame executive is known for building winners, taking home three Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils.
With the future of John Tavares still up in the air, Lamoriello could tie up both loose ends in one sweeping motion. By ensuring Trotz that Tavares will re-sign with the team, the Islanders could find their new coach. By ensuring Tavares will be working under a first-class coach like Trotz, it could be the final push needed for the 27-year-old captain and All-Star to commit himself to New York for the rest of his career.