They Won The Cup But Lost The Coach
Either Barry Trotz misunderstands his value in the market or the Washington Capitals do. Now there’s a bit of tarnish on the Stanley Cup the franchise recently won for the first time, as it is the cause of this divorce.
Trotz resigned on Monday as the Caps’ coach after four seasons. His contract apparently contained a clause that extended his deal by two years if the Caps should win the Stanley Cup. The value, however, was below what coaching’s latest genius deemed worthy of his service and he asked for a five-year deal at much bigger money.
The compromise? A split.
Trotz was coaching on the last year of his deal when he turned a lethargic, struggling team into one that streaked into the playoffs, won each of its four playoff series on the road and captured the Cup. At one point early in the spring he seemed likely to be fired than extended. Now he wants his reward.
It is possible he won’t get that for a while. Only the New York Islanders are without a coach at this moment, though midseason turnover in the NHL is frequent. Or Trotz, 56, could take a year off and wait until other jobs open up.
It’s always said that no one can take away a championship. But the coach who engineered it can leave. He leaves behind a team that seems extremely close-knit and suddenly aware of its capabilities after so many years of playoff frustration.
Why pick sides if the split was relatively amicable? Good luck to both. But always remember that fans root for the team, not the coach. And the team goes on and on.
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