The somewhat surprising news of Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz resigning on Monday means the Caps will be headed in a new direction. That new direction is most likely going to be with current associate coach Todd Reirden taking over the reins.
Barry Trotz’s lineup decisions, were, puzzling at the very least. He forgot that it was 2018 and lucked into a Stanley Cup this year. Trotz refused to play some of his younger plays in favor of veterans, and it cost him his job, just a year later than expected.
MacLellan says #Caps want someone who knows & can coach current game.. Says game is changing.. "It's almost a developmental league" since players now are so young & learn on fly.. #ALLCAPS
— Rob Carlin (@RobCarlinNBCS) June 18, 2018
Moving forward, what does this mean for the Caps? Well, it likely means that some of the tough decisions the Caps have to make just got a lot easier. The Caps are probably going to look for speed and skill rather than veterans and grit when building their roster. Which likely means some of the younger players will be fixtures on the roster next year.
In terms of free agents, this lessens the chances of Jay Beagle and Devante Smith-Pelly returning and almost certainly cuts out Alex Chiasson.
Given that Reirden was in charge of the defense, John Carlson may be brought back. In addition, Michal Kempny credited Reirden with his transition in Washington.
Kempny credited Todd Reirden for getting his confidence back here in Washington because he didn’t have much coming over in the trade. Said he had some bad games in the playoffs but Todd would give him keys to get right back on track.
— Ed Frankovic (@EdFrankovic) June 13, 2018
While it is not official, it is expected that Reirden will be the next coach for the Caps. While it is not yet certain that he had a different philosophy than his predecessor, all signs are pointing in that direction. The free agents that the Caps sign, or do not sign for that matter, will give us a much clearer idea of what the new era for Caps hockey will bring. The next few weeks will be interesting for the Caps and their fanbase as they begin Stanley Cup Championship defense.