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Reports: Trotz in Washington to talk to Caps

May 21, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT

Barry Trotz AP

The Barry Trotz interview tour, Summer 2014, appears to be in full swing. According to multiple reports, one by Sportsnet’s John Shannon, the former Predators head coach was in Washington yesterday to talk to the Capitals about their vacant position behind the bench.

Besides Washington, there are three other official coaching vacancies: in Florida, Carolina, and Vancouver. There could be another in Pittsburgh, depending what the new GM, whoever that may be, decides to do about Dan Bylsma.

Trotz has already publicly indicated his interest in the Washington job and the Vancouver job. But wherever he ends up (and it sure seems like he’ll end up somewhere), he doesn’t want people to assume he’ll coach the same system he did in Nashville.

“I’ve played a number of different systems based on our personnel, but I like the personnel to dictate the strength,” he told the Washington Post. “In Nashville, our strength was in net and defense. So our team would take the personality of the top players and that was most often on the back end.”

As proof, he likes to point out that, from 2005-2007 — when the Preds were led by Paul Kariya — they were among the highest-scoring teams in the NHL, which is true.

That being said, there was a reason Nashville went with Peter Laviolette as its new coach, and it wasn’t because he coached a boring, defensive style.

Which is to say, it’ll be interesting to see if Trotz can actually adapt. Because if he ends up with Washington or Vancouver, he’ll have to get the most out of Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, or Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin.

Related: Trotz looks forward to next coaching gig as teams line up

  1. bruinpred - May 21, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    As a Preds season ticket holder since their first game, I’ve had the pleasure to watch Trotz adapt to his personnel. Although he probably should allow some of his natural centers to move to the middle quicker, for the most part, he plays the hand he’s dealt. We had some fun years when we had skill players so to blame him for our lack of scoring makes no sense. A healthy Rinne will impact the offense (and defense obviously) next year as much or more than a new coach.

  2. capsnbohs23 - May 21, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Leonsis needs to hurry up with his GM search and hire Trotz already, he is the best fit for the caps

  3. govtminion - May 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    “I like the personnel to dictate the strength”

    Barry, you must not watch many Caps games… there’s not much strength to be found on that roster these days. Good luck.

    • capsnbohs23 - May 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      you’re kidding right?

      • govtminion - May 22, 2014 at 11:29 PM

        Well, bear with me. I don’t mean that it’s a team devoid of talent- obviously that’s just not true. What I mean is that they don’t have any particular strength, either.

        Think back five years- we knew the Caps did one thing really well- they stuffed the other net full of pucks. Even strength and power play, that team was ridiculous. We also knew that their ability to keep it out of their own net was… not great. They let in a lot of goals- it’s just no one cared because they were still scoring a couple more a night than the opposition. It was fun hockey to watch, and it worked well for the team- there was a clear strength for them to build around. Then came the playoff collapse at the end of that season, and Boudreau’s attempt to rewire the team into a more balanced system.

        Now, here we are, several years later- Bruce is gone, along with the next two coaches to follow him. And the Capitals are now… what? What do they really do well? Are they a scoring menace like they were in 2009? A defensive stalwart team like Nashville? A goalie-oriented system like what Buffalo had (prior to Miller’s departure)? Do they do any of those things all that well? Not really.

        So that’s my point- not that there’s no strength to be found, but that there’s not really an identity for a new coach (or GM) to look at and say “here’s what we do well, our team’s strength- let’s focus on that”. Instead, they’re kind of in a nether-region where they’re trying to do everything, and not doing any of it all that well at the moment.

        Sorry if I came across wrong on that, I do see how that should have been elaborated on.

    • kotteintheslot - May 21, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      I am going to disagree with you. They need help don’t get me wrong, but they also have Ovechkin, who oh by the way has had the most goals in the regular season two years in a row. Also have Nick Backstrom who is a top 5 center in the league. Braden Holtby (who mind you struggled a lot last year but I blame that at least a little on the debacle of having Oates thinking he knew more than his goalie coach) who has lots of potential at goal. Kunetzov who could end up being one of the most talented players in the league in the next few years. Oh and Joel Ward who is killing it right now at Worlds. They have plenty of strengths on that roster, they just happen to have a lot of weaknesses as well, which is where Trotz comes in.

  4. har21441 - May 21, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Trotz is exactly what the Caps need – a no nonsense established coach that knows when to press the offense while always maintaining sound defense.

    This is also why I am certain that the caps will not hire him. You don’t get to where Washington is by making the right decisions.

  5. bcsteele - May 21, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Everyone forgets his hands we’re budgeted in Nashville also. Imagine what he could do if he could approach an able GM and say “we’re good, but this would really help us out” and the GM goes and makes it happen.

    Any team available to him would benefit him but either the Canucks or Caps would be much better off cause they don’t have budget restraints…at least that I’m aware of.

  6. ipskipskyblue - May 21, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    This is starting to look like what the Redskins did a few years back. build the coaching staff backwards. I am not saying he can’t coach but you need a GM fiirst and the best option out there for GM just signed with another team.

    and I repeat i am not comparing him to Jim Zorn.

  7. letsgocaps88 - May 21, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    capitals might get a NHL coach with more than a decade under his belt at the highest level. *pinch me*

  8. pr0jecktpat - May 21, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    I like Trotz, I think he is a solid coach, and would be the first coach in a long time to bring good NHL head coaching experience to the Caps. The only thing that bugs me is I was hoping they would hire a GM before a coach, so the new GM “who ever it would be” would have some input on the team he would be taking over.

  9. savior72 - May 21, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    Get ready for some low scoring games Washington

  10. letsgocaps88 - May 22, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Last five bench bosses …. Adam Oates, Dale Hunter, Bruce Boudreau, Glen Hanlon, and Bruce Cassidy were all rookie head coaches.

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