In one of the most shocking NHL off-season moments in history, Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz has announced his resignation - less than two weeks after leading the franchise to their first Stanley Cup championship.
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet shared Trotz' statement:
Statement from Barry Trotz on his decision to move on from the Capitals. pic.twitter.com/zbdTSgHc0U— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 18, 2018
On the team website, the Capitals shared the following statement:
"Barry Trotz informed the organization today of his decision to resign as head coach of the Washington Capitals. 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."
According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, a plan was in place for Trotz to sign a two-year extension for guiding the Capitals to the Stanley Cup. However, Trotz's new deal was "below the current market," for head coaches. The two sides couldn't work a deal out, so Washington will now let him speak to other clubs and find a new home.
It's extremely rare to see a head coach leave after he leads his team to a championship, and this transaction seemed impossible after Washington won the Cup. But Trotz is arguably the best head coach in the NHL today, and he certainly deserves to be paid above the current coaches market.
Toronto Maple Leafs bench boss Mike Babcock set the bar in 2015 when he agreed to an eight-year, $50 million contract - leaving the Detroit Red Wings organization and joining his hometown team.
Claude Julien signed a five-year, $25 million deal to join the Montreal Canadiens late in the 2016-17 season. The New York Rangers hiring of David Quinn cost five years and $12 million. These are just a few examples of how much the coaching market has gone up in recent years.
Trotz sits fifth all-time in head coaching wins with 762 - with Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks the only active one with more (884). Trotz led the Capitals to consecutive Presidents' Trophy victories and finally their first championship, and he's known for being one of the greatest defensive minds ever.
With the firing of Doug Weight, the New York Islanders are the only team without a head coach. If Trotz is looking for the lead gig, then that will be his only option. Otherwise, he could take a job as an assistant or sit out and wait for another opportunity to come up.
As for the Capitals, it's logical to believe one of their assistant coaches will be hired. We should find out in the coming weeks who replaces Trotz behind the bench in DC.