Whatever changes are made to the Capitals this offseason, a move at head coach will not be one of them. In fact, there will not be any moves made to the coaching staff, general manager Brian MacLellan told the media on Tuesday.
“As far as personnel? No," MacLellan said when asked about possible changes to the coaching staff. "We just won two Presidents' Trophies, our specialty teams are at the top of the league the past two years, our young guys- [Dmitry] Orlov, [Nate] Schmidt, [Andre] Burakovsky, [Evgeny] Kuznetsov - are all developing well. It's a difficult decision to make, a coaching change, when all of this positive stuff is going on.”
But that doesn’t mean MacLellan is not holding his coaches accountable. He also added, “There are some things that need to change at that level in order for us to be more successful.”
MacLellan stressed that people within the organization needed to be held accountable and that changes would have to be made to the team’s approach to next season, but he would not divulge specifically what he felt those changes needed to be.
“I don't know how you let that out of your room,” MacLellan said. “I have a relationship with the coaches and the coaches have with the players and there's certain things that pop up because of our experience at the end of the year here, specifically the Pittsburgh series. I think everything went fine. I think when you get to that level and you lose, things get exposed and things that need to be addressed need to be addressed. I can't publicly come out and say. 'Here's the deal, here's who I'm going to hold accountable, here's what they need to do better and if it doesn't get done, then we need to make changes.' It doesn't make sense for me to publicly disclose that.”
MacLellan clearly did not want his keeping the coaching staff together to be seen as an endorsement of how the season ended. After three years as being general manager and three years with Barry Trotz as the head coach, the team must own up to its continued playoff struggles and adjust. Just don’t expect MacLellan to divulge what any of those changes will be.
“I think it's between me and the staff,” he said. “It's more personal stuff than it is anything else.”
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