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Barry Trotz Named Head Coach of Washington Captials


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Several reports surfaced last night that Barry Trotz will be the next head coach in Washington.  Nothing official yet but Barry Friedman tweeted that Trotz told other interested teams that he is “no longer a candidate.”  Owner Ted Leonsis apparently supports the hiring.

 

It seems a little odd that the Caps could hire a coach before they do a GM, but Trotz's experience surely would be welcomed.  

 

The biggest question remains though is can Trotz tame Ovie? 

 

 

 

 

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Oddest thing I find about this would-be pairing is the philosophies.

 

Barry Trotz, long time head coach of the Nashville Predators, is a defense-first coach and fostered that for almost 15 years with the Predators, never wavering from that philosophy from the time the Preds were an expansion team trying to survive in the NHL, to when they became legit playoff contenders with some big name stars on the roster.

 

I don't see how he will suddenly change his philosophies going over to Washington. In fact, if you are the Caps ownership, I would think you KNOW this, and are thinking about hiring Trotz to change that very thing: the team philosophy.

 

Along with that, expect big time changes to personnel, with the only players being able to stay around are those that will 'buy in'.

And you can expect one of the first changes to be made to Washington, would be in goal.

Trotz seems to believe in 'building from the goalie on out', and in that manner, build a solid foundation moving forward. Whether that means actually finding a new goaltender or trying to get more out of any current goalie (Holtby for instance...with a better defensive structure in front of him of course), remains to be seen.

 

Also remaining to be seen is how Alex Ovechkin fits into all of this.

I can see various scenarios being played out with Ovechkin.

 

---He can be traded for whatever the Caps can get for him......probably not likely due to his marketability and, let's face it, despite his deficient defensive play, STILL scores goals at a good rate...and he can be quite a hitter if motivated.

---He can be convinced to finally buy into a defense-first style, using team-defense forced turnovers on the opposition to then transition to scoring chances

---He can be allowed to be his usual self (more offense than defense...and with or without the captaincy) while the rest of the team moves towards a defensive style....meaning Trotz will tolerate one guy (Ovechkin) NOT playing defense while everyone else does, but banking that Ovechkin's offense will more than make up for it. Hey, don't laugh, that sort of thing has happened before where a team has an offense first guy on a defensive squad....NJ had done that for several years before, and a modern day example, could be Marion Gaborik playing on the Kings.  Works so long as the offensive guys production outweighs any lapses in his defense AND the rest of the team, including the goalie, plays a solid, air tight defense.

---A final disastrous scenario, would be squabbling behind closed doors (or for all the world to see) between Ovechkin and Trotz, and that squabbling affecting the entire team, and leading to the Caps having an awful, awful season.

 

Personally, I think Nashville made a mistake letting Trotz go. Yes, I know Nashville has been in a rut lately as far as contention, but to be fair, Pekka Rinne, whom the Preds had not really had healthy for them the last couple seasons, is a big part of that team.

Also, losing a guy like Ryan Suter, which in turn seems to have affected Shea Weber's play (Suter's long time partner), certainly didn't help, with the team scrambling around trying to replace not only Suter's play, but his sizable minutes with other defensemen.

 

Only reason I could see the Preds making a coaching change was to move in a different direction (i.e. become a more offense oriented team). Peter Laviolette may do that for them.

Trotz no longer being an effective winning coach, hopefully, did not play a factor into that decision, as he is far from that.

 

But Trotz in Washington could be an adventure. Coach has to know he will have his work cut out for him, and I have to think that Caps ownership understands he will demand certain things his way not only on the team now, but in the development pipelines, as Trotz also seems to be a believer in producing your own defensive players....something the Caps are currently WOEFUL at.

 

Dale Hunter, another defensive oriented player/coach, did a pretty good job for the short time he was with the Caps as their head coach. For various reasons, he didn't stay on, but while there, guys like Alex Ovechkin seemed to buy in somewhat to what the coach was selling on the defensive side.

Perhaps Barry Trotz can expand upon that?

 

Or maybe Barry Trotz realizes even he may be in over his head on "Ovechkin's team".

We will see.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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http://www.wkrn.com/story/25614302/barry-trotz-named-head-coach-of-washington-capitals

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -Former Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz is the new head coach of the Washington Capitals.

Trotz was not retained by the Predators after his 15th season with the team last month.  

He led the Predators to seven playoff appearances, but they only won two playoff series and never advanced past the second round.

In his 15 seasons with the Predators, Trotz’s teams went 557-479-100 record with 60 ties.

The Caps were looking for a new head coach after firing Adam Oates after they missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years.  

Washington also named Brian McClellan the team’s general manager.

Trotz began his professional coaching career in the Washington organization and later became head coach of the Caps minor league franchise in Baltimore and Portland.

He was offered a front office job by the Predators after his contract was not renewed, but he immediately made it known he still wants to coach.

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@peter puck

 

LOL Funny, I was thinking Torts.

 

By the way, Ted Leonsis is worse than Ed Snider.  He fires his GM saying they need a fresh pair of eyes, etc., and promotes Brian MacLellan, who has been with the team for 13 years.

 

I really think they've tried multiple defense-oriented coaches.  They simply don't have a defense-oriented team.  Maybe Trotz isn't really defensive oriented but was limited by what he was given in Nashville and worked with what he had.  

 

I don't know, I just think Ovi eats him alive and they're searching for yet another coach next year.  

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Well, it has indeed come to pass.

 

From NHL.com

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=720753&navid=nhl:topheads

 

I was not aware that Barry Trotz was a minor league coach for the Washington organization before, and with the new coach comes a new GM and I would HAVE to think that a definite change in philosophy and way of going about business is at  hand.

 

Face it, with all the talent that has gone through that Capitals clubhouse the last several years and having one Alex Ovechkin in there the whole time, one would have thought Washington would have accomplished more than what they have.

 

All this talk about "Ovie running the show", if true, will seem to come to a halt now.

It may have been possible that a guy like Ovechkin, with his star status, was able to run one coach out of town (Boudreau), but to continue to do so? And now with a new bench boss who takes no crap from players and a new GM looking to shake up the status quo in DC?

No chance now. Ovie will either need to adapt, or he will be gone. Whether forced out somehow, or he takes his puck and goes home to Russia and the KHL, either way, things will not be staying the same.

 

Honestly, in all this mess, I think the former GM McPhee may have been the single biggest issue with the Caps lack of success the last few seasons.

He was the one, after all, who signed the players the Caps ended up with, and again, if the Ovie stuff is true, he tolerated it....probably in the name of keeping the fans showing up at the arenas.

 

Boudreau has since proven he does have what it takes to harness talent (Anaheim), Dale Hunter did pretty well during his short lived tenure as Washington's coach (proving you CAN get Ovie to listen if you are firm and compelling enough), and Adam Oates? Well, he learned some lessons the hard way about trying to be a "players's coach" before ever really establishing  himself as the guy you need to really listen to.

Hopefullly, Oates gets a shot somewhere else, perhaps a minor league gig, sharpen up  his coaching skills, then takes another run at an NHL job.

 

Now that McPhee is out, McClellen in, and Trotz in as well, there will be some hard decisions to make and some accountability put into place for those who think coasting through seasons is acceptable.

Don't know much at all about McClellan as a GM, but Barry Trotz for SURE, cares more about putting out a competitive and winning team as opposed to just 'looking good' out there.

 

Trotz' new division will feature the Pens, Rangers, Flyers, and Devils who ALWAYS care about winning above everything else, and also feature some possible up n coming teams such as Columbus and Carolina, so he knows he cannot afford to stand around and be compared to the likes of the Islanders within the division.

And if that means pissing off a star player or two in the name of winning, then so be it.

 

Should be a very interesting series of events leading up to training camp 2014 and into the season starting in October.

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I don't see how he will suddenly change his philosophies going over to Washington. In fact, if you are the Caps ownership, I would think you KNOW this, and are thinking about hiring Trotz to change that very thing: the team philosophy.

 

I think that's exactly what's going on. They went with a long time, well respected NHL coach who has had success with the Predators, even making more out of some teams than they probably deserved.

 

He's also not a first-timer like Oates being asked to deal with an established locker room culture. Trotz has certainly dealt with that.

 

As always, it's going to come down to how he works with Ovechkin and how Ovechkin plays his system.

 

Quite frankly, they also need to stop trading away guys in a grass-is-greener scenario. The Erat trade was egregious and produced little. I think losing Semin (not that Semin is worth what he got) was a problem.

 

They need to get an effective second line.

 


Personally, I think Nashville made a mistake letting Trotz go. Yes, I know Nashville has been in a rut lately as far as contention, but to be fair, Pekka Rinne, whom the Preds had not really had healthy for them the last couple seasons, is a big part of that team.
Also, losing a guy like Ryan Suter, which in turn seems to have affected Shea Weber's play (Suter's long time partner), certainly didn't help, with the team scrambling around trying to replace not only Suter's play, but his sizable minutes with other defensemen.

 

While I agree with you that his play was affected by the absence of Suter, Weber just finished his best statistical season.

 

It's pretty hard to get a team to buy in when you have an OV type. Doesn't matter how good he is he still pisses you off playing with him.

 

And yet they made the playoffs seven straight years...

 

That was, of course, at least in part due to the guaranteed third division seeding and the relative weakness of the division as a whole. Last year they were "third" but had 57 points, which was a bubble team (Islanders snuck in with 55). In 11-12, they were the 8 seed with 92 points. They are three years removed from their 10-11 second overall and 09-10 President's Trophy (for which they managed a combined three rounds of playoff action).

 

I do think that Ovechkin is a large part of the problem but also the only real thing that can be a solution. If Trotz can show him - and management can stomach - that it's not his birthright to be out in scoring situations, but that the players who are the most dedicated to the team will be used in those circumstances, that can really benefit all concerned.

 

I know you just simply don't like the player - and that's fine - but 28 year-old 4-time league leading goal scorers don't grow on trees.

 

I also completely agree with rux that Leonsis has been an abject disaster of an owner, almost uniformly making (or allowing) the exact wrong decisions.

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---He can be traded for whatever the Caps can get for him......probably not likely due to his marketability and, let's face it, despite his deficient defensive play, STILL scores goals at a good rate...and he can be quite a hitter if motivated.

 

I mean this in all seriousness, he would be great in Nashville. Ah, the irony. If the Caps could move him for a d prospect or two, call it a done deal. 

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Here ya go guys...the official introductions of new GM and Head Coach to the media.

 

From NHL.com

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=720816&navid=nhl:topheads

 

They are not calling it a 'rebuild', but a 'refresh'.

 

And also this from the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capitals-insider/wp/2014/05/26/capitals-name-brian-maclellan-general-manager-barry-trotz-coach/

 

In reading that, everyone seems to be saying the right things.

The new GM made it a point to let everyone know that he won't be 'McPhee 2.0'...and it seems the owner Leonis was impressed with McClellan telling him straight up certain things that can be improved from the ownership standpoint.

Huh? What's this? A guy with a set large enough to tell his boss HE could do a better job? Ok...sounds good so far...

 

Also, from the sounds of it, Trotz realizes he can't turn the Captials into the Predators and win games 1-0 or 2-1 on a nightly basis, but DOES acknowledge the team needs to improve overall....being more 'well rounded' as he put it.

 

Again, all sounds good in the media.

Now it will remain to be seen what changes in personnel will need to be made and how much resistance there will be to certain play style tweaks.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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@TropicalFruitGirl26

 

 They were talking about McLellans interview with Leonsis today on TSN. They said he "Costanza-ed" the interview, which they thought funny, but not necessarily a reason to hire someone.

 

Oh, I am pretty sure many factors went into the hiring of McClellan.

Since the ownership termed this a 'refresh' as opposed to a 'rebuild', I would think a guy like McClellan who is very familiar with not only the workings of the organization, but of the players that are already here, yet different enough in mindset, would be the perfect guy.

 

And Trotz' experience and track record with the Predators was certainly more extensive than Adam Oates' just trying to find his coaching legs in the NHL.

 

If the team were gonna do a complete rebuild as some fans suggested they might have to do, I am not sure if McClellan would have been kept on. Rebuild usually means clean slate and as you know, oftentimes, that means a cleaning out of the any and all of the former administration.

 

With this approach, sure you get a brand new coach (very necessary it seems) but keep a guy in McClellan is different enough, yet familiar enough to know what needs to change and STAY competitive, and what needs to NOT be messed with.

And everyone involved (ownership, FO, and on-ice coaching staff) will not get very many chances to get things right as the Metro division as a whole looks to be trending upwards.

 

Any major screw ups in Washington and they could find themselves floundering in the cellar for a few seasons looking up at teams like that have made great strides towards being contenders, and bleeding fans left and right.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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  This is a great choice by the Caps. First and foremost, Trotz has this aura about him, it commands respect. A guy like OV will not be able to bully this guy, and if he dogs it, Trotz will just bench the bum, and will not think twice about it. I think that is a huge reason why Trotz was brought on board. He does not take any ****. If anyone can get OV on board with a system, it's this guy. I also think OV has reached the end in terms of being able to dictate coaching changes etc....(yes, that does happen, no doubt in my mind). If Ovechkin does not work out under Trotz, it's he who will be shown the door, not Barry.

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This is a great choice by the Caps. First and foremost, Trotz has this aura about him, it commands respect. A guy like OV will not be able to bully this guy, and if he dogs it, Trotz will just bench the bum, and will not think twice about it. I think that is a huge reason why Trotz was brought on board. He does not take any ****. If anyone can get OV on board with a system, it's this guy. I also think OV has reached the end in terms of being able to dictate coaching changes etc....(yes, that does happen, no doubt in my mind). If Ovechkin does not work out under Trotz, it's he who will be shown the door, not Barry.

Sounds good, and of course you may be right. The cynic in me (okay, that's pretty much all of me) says that people spend money to go watch Ovechkin, not Trotz. Ovechkin is all most Caps fans know. They all have a number 8 Jersey. Management knows this and, sadly, Ovechkin himself is keenly aware of it. If they don't compliance buyout him now they lose their opportunity.

That is the last coaching job, other than maybe the Island (I mean Long, but Vancouver) I would want.

Like I said, you could be right. I just have this feeling this is not going to go well for Trotz.

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I am hoping Ovechkin surprises us and does become a bit more defensively responsible.

 

Because having 50+ goals and being -35 is yikes.

In fact, I am pretty sure it is some kind of record low.

 

The caps hired Trotz knowing he does not take any crap and will bench players. They hired him knowing he chased several russian players back to the KHL in fact. I think they are going to roll with him.

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Sounds good, and of course you may be right. The cynic in me (okay, that's pretty much all of me) says that people spend money to go watch Ovechkin, not Trotz. Ovechkin is all most Caps fans know. They all have a number 8 Jersey. Management knows this and, sadly, Ovechkin himself is keenly aware of it. If they don't compliance buyout him now they lose their opportunity.

That is the last coaching job, other than maybe the Island (I mean Long, but Vancouver) I would want.

Like I said, you could be right. I just have this feeling this is not going to go well for Trotz.

 

Sounds good, and of course you may be right. The cynic in me (okay, that's pretty much all of me) says that people spend money to go watch Ovechkin, not Trotz. Ovechkin is all most Caps fans know. They all have a number 8 Jersey. Management knows this and, sadly, Ovechkin himself is keenly aware of it. If they don't compliance buyout him now they lose their opportunity.

That is the last coaching job, other than maybe the Island (I mean Long, but Vancouver) I would want.

Like I said, you could be right. I just have this feeling this is not going to go well for Trotz.

 

 There is one big thing Trotz has going for him. That is how many times the Caps have made the playoffs and or long playoff runs in the Ovechkin era. You can only go in the same direction for so long, eventually, results have to be there, or a totally different direction is a priority. Trotz has the luck at arriving in Washington where the sour taste in their mouths has hit an all time high. There is no sympathy for OV, and a lot of hard core Caps fans are nearing the end of the rope on this guy. That puts Trotz in a more powerful position than any previous coach in the OV era.

 

  One thing for sure, on a team that seriously lacks depth, OV's salary could address some very pressing problems....and even more importantly, OV's teammates are not forced to watch OV act like a petulant child. No one can speak out against him, cause OV has so much pull, he could force the front office to trade them away. That power he once had....has diminished, or as I suspect, gone away altogether.

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I am hoping Ovechkin surprises us and does become a bit more defensively responsible.

Because having 50+ goals and being -35 is yikes.

In fact, I am pretty sure it is some kind of record low.

The caps hired Trotz knowing he does not take any crap and will bench players. They hired him knowing he chased several russian players back to the KHL in fact. I think they are going to roll with him.

You and jammer are slowly bringing me around. Ah what the hell. I'll just kill the emperor and take his place and my journey will be complete

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 You know what would be a good fit, Ovechkin and Orlov for Mike Richards, Justin Williams, Alex Martinez and 3 first round draft picks. The attention hound Alexander gets the bright lights and the nightlife of Los Angles, and the Capitals add enough immediate depth to be real players in the Eastern Conference. The Caps have 6 first round picks to jumpstart the re-building project, but with those 3 vets thrown into the mix, it would really be re-loading rather than a full on re-build.

 

  I think this would work out for both teams. OV would have Gaborik and Kopitar to play with and would make for a DEADLY top powerplay.  Top power play would be OV, Gaborik and Kopitar, with Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty on the points.....but Jake Muzzin, who looks better everytime he touches the ice btw, might force Jeff off the top unit.

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@ruxpin  Sutter is one of the few coaches that could potentially calm down OV and get him to play more of a team game.

 

Yeah, but Trotz would be another.

 

This is put up or shut up time for Ol' #8.

 

And, yes, I am keeping him on the Elsinore Catamounts, so don't get any ideas :)

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I don't think there IS a coach out there for Ovechkin, @jammer2. I mean, if there is it would probably be Suter, but I don't think I'd want to bet both the current chemistry AND the future of the team on it.

I just think it's an entirely unnecessary trade from the Kings side of it.

If I'm the Caps, though, I dump him for whatever I can get.

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