Despite winning a Stanley Cup less than two weeks ago, the Capitals found themselves without a head coach on Monday with the stunning news of Barry Trotz’s resignation.
At Wednesday’s breakdown day, Trotz told the media he wanted to be back in Washington. General manager Brian MacLellan said he wanted Trotz back.
But both alluded to possible issues that had to be sorted out in any contract negotiations.
Obviously, those issues were not resolved.
“[Trotz’s] representative wants to take advantage of Barry’s experience and Stanley Cup win and is trying to negotiate a deal that compensates him as one of the better coaches in the league, a top four or five coach,” MacLellan said in a press conference with the media on Monday. “He’s looking for that kind of contract.”
But if you think money was the main sticking point between the two sides, that’s not the case. Money was a factor, but there was a bigger factor that held up negotiations, according to MacLellan.
“I think the five-year term is probably a sticking point,” he said. “We have a coach that's been here four years. You do another five, that's nine years. There's not many coaches that have that lasting ability. It's a long time and it's a lot of money to be committing to that, to a coach.”
Of the head coaches currently employed in the NHL, only Joel Quenneville has been the head coach of his current team, the Chicago Blackhawks, for over nine years.
Trotz’s contract included a clause that would extend his deal a further two years if the team won the Stanley Cup. While the team was comfortable with that clause and did engage in talks on renegotiating the contract after the season, they were not willing to sign him to a deal as expensive or, more critically, for as long as Trotz sought.
“I don’t think all teams pay that type of money and years," MacLellan said. "Certain teams are open to it and the rest of the league isn’t.”
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