Trying to keep coach Barry Trotz is first priority for champion Washington Capitals


DULLES, Va. — Barry Trotz considered mentors and buddies Jack Button, Tommy Ebright, David Poile and Wayne Fleming when he lifted the Stanley Cup over his head.

The Washington Capitals coach did not take into consideration his future, the identical strategy he has taken all season and playoffs.

“I wasn’t getting consumed with what was said, what my future holds, whatever,” Trotz mentioned. “I’m in a pretty good spot.”

Trotz was in nearly as good a spot as possible Friday as he and the Capitals landed again residence within the Washington space with the Stanley Cup in tow. The celebration will final by way of the parade Tuesday, however as soon as that is achieved, the work begins for Brian MacLellan to attempt to re-sign Trotz, prime defenseman John Carlson and different free brokers.

After not extending Trotz’s contract final summer time, possession and common supervisor Brian MacLellan now hope to maintain him round. MacLellan mentioned after successful the Cup that Trotz can be again if he desires to be.

Trotz and Carlson, who set a franchise report for playoff factors by a defenseman, might be free brokers July 1 together with unlikely postseason hero Devante Smith-Pelly, trade-deadline acquisition Michal Kempny and longtime glue man Jay Beagle. Washington must do some salary-cap maneuvering to maintain Carlson, Smith-Pelly and Kempny within the fold however can break the financial institution for Trotz.

Following a roller-coaster, lame-duck season with presumed coach-in-waiting Todd Reirden nonetheless on employees, Trotz was requested if he noticed a future for himself with the Capitals. He mentioned: “Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.”

“I love what I do in Washington,” Trotz mentioned. “I love the guys. I’m just in a good spot, a good place.”

Offseason precedence No. 1 for proprietor Ted Leonsis and MacLellan is signing Trotz to a brand new deal — if he desires to remain. It’s going to value them.

Toronto’s Mike Babcock is the highest-paid coach within the NHL at $6.25 million a 12 months, Chicago’s Joel Quenneville is subsequent at $6 million and Montreal’s Claude Julien third at $5 million. Trotz will quickly have his identify on the Stanley Cup like them and will strategy that worth.

Carlson will exceed it after main all defensemen with 68 factors within the common season and the 20 within the playoffs. The 28-year-old right-shot defenseman trails solely elite New York Islanders middle John Tavares in free agent curiosity and is more likely to command $eight million-plus on a long-term deal after how effectively he performed this season.

“Typically a big dog on the back end takes most of the responsibility. John’s definitely one of the big dogs,” mentioned Capitals winger T.J. Oshie, who simply accomplished the primary season of a $46 million, eight-year deal. “But it seems like that’s shared a little bit with (Matt) Niskanen and (Dmitry) Orlov being able to play against other teams’ top lines as well. We’ve got a 1, 1A and 1B I think. We’re sitting pretty good back there.”

The Capitals could be sitting fairly if the wage cap goes as much as as excessive as $82 million as a result of it offers them extra room to maintain the highest 4 of Carlson, Orlov, Niskanen and Kempny collectively. If it stays nearer to this 12 months’s $75 million, they might have bother conserving this championship roster collectively.

Smith-Pelly will little question earn a elevate from the $650,000 league-minimum deal he signed final summer time after matching his regular-season objective output with seven objectives within the playoffs. Kempny will even value greater than $900,000 — a cut price wage that allowed the cap-strapped Capitals to afford so as to add him on the deadline.

Even when Trotz is again and Carlson indicators an eight-year deal, adjustments after all will occur.

Coming off goaltender Braden Holtby‘s resurgence to assist lead the Capitals to the Cup, backup Philipp Grubauer will seemingly be traded to a crew that wishes to present him the possibility to start out. If Trotz stays, Reirden would seemingly be allowed to pursue a head or affiliate teaching job elsewhere.

The Capitals discovered this season that typically change is sweet. They misplaced Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson, Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner, Kevin Shattenkirk and Daniel Winnik final summer time and acquired higher.

They may look a little bit totally different after they elevate a Stanley Cup banner to the rafters in October however loved some success with integrating new gamers.

“Bringing in (Alex) Chiasson, Smith-Pelly, guys that had no connection to past failures, it definitely relaxed (us),” veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik mentioned. “It was having some of those younger guys and new guys, and then the other part of it was people doubting us at the beginning of the year — not being expected to win I think really helped out and really put the group at ease. We enjoyed winning a lot more this year.”

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