Barry Trotz is headed to the 2018 NHL All-Star Game, too.
The Capitals’ head coach will be the Metropolitan Division’s bench boss for the 63rd edition of the game, which will be played Jan. 28th at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
Trotz already knows who’ll captain his squad: Alex Ovechkin was named Metro captain via fan vote earlier this week. The other captains are Steven Stamkos (Atlantic), P.K. Subban (Central) and Connor McDavid (Pacific); the remainder of the rosters will be announced on Wednesday.
Although Trotz has not been formally named coach by the league, the Capitals will still be atop the Metro at the end of tonight's games, which marks the cut-off.
“It’s always an honor to be selected, but let’s get this right: I’m going there to represent the Washington Capitals staff and the players,” Trotz said Saturday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “They’re the ones who got it done, and I’m the one that gets to go and represent them.”
“If you would have asked me after the first five or six games of the year, the way we started...” — Barry Trotz, who’ll coach the Metropolitan Division in the All-Star Game later this month. #Caps pic.twitter.com/3rGKwzoZyk— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) January 6, 2018
This will be the third time Trotz has been behind the bench at an All-Star Game. He was the Metro head coach in Nashville two years ago and he was Randy Carlyle’s assistant in Dallas in 2007.
This one, however, likely means a little more to Trotz given how much has been made of him coaching on the final year of his contract. And, of course, the fact that the Caps got off to a 5-6-1 start in October.
“If you would have asked me after about the first five or six games of the year,” Trotz said, “with the way we started and all that, I didn’t think [All-Star honors] would be on the horizon.”
Tom Wilson said the players are happy for Trotz, who last month moved into fifth place on the NHL’s all-time coaching wins list.
“It’s great to see him get recognized,” Wilson said. “He’s the guy that kinda demands the buy-in. And it all starts with him.”