LAS VEGAS—Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom weren’t expecting to lose their head coach less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.
But business is business, Ovi said, and Barry Trotz is handling his by attempting to capitalize on claiming the championship.
“It’s sad,” Ovechkin said on the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he accepted his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy on Wednesday night. “Obviously, we won together.”
The Caps’ captain also thanked Trotz for directing him—and his teammates—to new heights.
“First of all, [I want to] thank him for a great job to be our coach, to be our dad, to give us a chance to win,” Ovechkin said. “But then again, it’s a business. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine and I wish him luck.”
Backstrom, meanwhile, said he was caught off guard by Trotz’s decision to step down over a contract stalemate with the team. Trotz asked for $5 million per for five seasons; the Caps balked over the terms Trotz’s camp sought.
“I was a little surprised, obviously,” Backstrom said. “I heard the scenario.”
Like Ovechkin, though, Backstrom praised the job Trotz did during his four-year tenure.
“He’s done a great job in Washington,” Backstrom said. “We obviously have him to thank for a lot. He’s done a tremendous job of schooling us and winning a championship. No one is going to take that away from him.”
“I was a little surprised, obviously.” — Nicklas Backstrom on Barry Trotz resigning. Backstrom said he’s exchanged text messages with the #ALLCAPS’ former head coach. #NHLAwards pic.twitter.com/siq88DW9Ss— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) June 21, 2018
Trotz’s next move is unclear, but he’s a free agent and currently eligible to negotiate with any team. The Islanders are the only team with an opening for a head coach.
As for Washington, GM Brian MacLellan said that associate coach Todd Reirden will get the first crack at replacing Trotz.
Ovechkin said he thinks Reirden would be a good fit.
“We all respect Todd,” Ovechkin said. “We all like him. Again, it’s not our thing to say who’s going to be head coach, but if it’s going to be Todd, it’s going to be fun.”
MORE CAPITALS COVERAGE:
- Sticking point: Term, not money was what caused Trotz, Caps to separate
- Second thoughts?: Could the Caps have avoided losing Trotz with a 2017 extension?
- What's next?: Trotz has options for his next coaching job
- Next man up?: Todd Reirden the early leader to replace Trotz
How do you make a photo of Alex Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time even more memorable?
You make it out of all the Capitals' game scores this year, of course.
Capitals fan and artist Daniel Duffy (@RealArtOfWords) posted a phenomenal finished piece commemorating the Cup win on Wednesday, June 20. It's a little meta and astounding to look at, but very fun to try and read. If you want to relive the glory that was the parts of the 2017-18 Capitals season, check out the piece.
FINISHED! Introducing the Alexander Ovechkin word art - handwritten with the date, score and opponent of every Capitals game in 2018! pic.twitter.com/6U1MLdaqDm— Daniel Duffy (@RealArtOfWords) June 20, 2018
The piece, which appears to be done in a traditional medium like pen or marker, holds the team faced, arena played at, and final score of every game. It uses six colors and over sixty lines of text. Ovechkin roars as he holds the Stanley Cup overhead, the white away jersey shaded with bits of grey text. It takes a skilled eye to sort text and colors into shapes and shading, but Daniel did a fantastic job! It's awesome to see a fanbase create different interpretations of iconic moments. We'll surely see more of Ovechkin in this moment.
Just as we thought we were going to get tired of the celebration, fans find new ways to surprise us. Stay creative, Caps fans!
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