Trotz resigns as coach of Capitals, reportedly over contract stalemate

Reuters

Less than two weeks after winning their first Stanley Cup, the Washington Capitals are in search of a new head coach.

Both the club and Barry Trotz announced Monday that Trotz is resigning as head coach of the team, effective immediately.

"After careful consideration and consultation with my family, I am officially announcing my resignation as head coach of the Washington Capitals," Trotz's statement read in part. "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 this season culminating with our players and staff achieving our goal and sharing the excitement with our fans."

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The Capitals expressed disappointment in Trotz's decision, indicating they were looking to keep the partnership going:

"Barry Trotz informed the organization today of his decision to resign as head coach of the Washington Capitals," the team statement read. "We are obviously disappointed by Barry's decision, but would like to thank Barry for all his efforts the past four years and for helping bring the Stanley Cup to Washington. Barry is a man of high character and integrity and we are grateful for his leadership and for all that he has done for our franchise."

The statements came minutes after Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman tweeted that the two sides were unable to negotiate a contract extension.

According to Friedman, winning the Cup -- also Trotz's first as head coach -- triggered a two-year extension, but it was below the current market value "as coaches' contracts have exploded in value."

The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun later tweeted details on the contract and the impasse:

"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."

Friedman reported that Washington will grant Trotz permission to speak with other clubs immediately.

Speculation about Trotz's future has been ongoing for some time. One team repeatedly interested in Trotz should he become available is the New York Islanders. That franchise could be in a watershed offseason as superstar John Tavares enters free agency with the team failing to miss the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

Trotz, 55, came to Washington in the summer of 2014 after serving as Nashville's head coach for each of the first 15 seasons of the franchise's existence. He is 762-568-60 in the regular season, giving him the fifth-most regular-season wins in NHL history, per hockey-reference.com.

--Field Level Media

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