Skip to content

Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center

Jul 29, 2014, 11:04 AM EDT

BarryTrotz Getty Images

Good interview here with new Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz, by NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.

The first part of the interview focuses on Alex Ovechkin and how Trotz plans to make the face of the franchise more “accountable”; however, since we’ve already written plenty on that topic, let’s turn our attention to Trotz’s comments on the all-important center position.

After Nicklas Backstrom, who will obviously play the middle, it sounds like Trotz wants Marcus Johansson and one of either Evgeny Kuznetsov or Andre Burakovsky to center the second and third lines.

“I’m going to let them play it out,” said Trotz. “We’re going to try to get the best three up the middle in terms of the people who are really good at distributing the puck and making things happen from the middle of the ice. After those three I think the fourth line will probably have a little more definition, probably more bite to it.”

The Caps, of course, lost one of their centers from 2013-14 to free agency, with Mikhail Grabovski moving to Long Island.

Washington has another potential top-nine center in veteran Brooks Laich, but Trotz suggested that the 31-year-old was likely destined for the wing.

Latest Posts
  1. Preds torch Crawford, Hawks; even series at 1-1

    Apr 18, 2015, 12:31 AM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators - Game Two Getty Images

    Talk about taking the game out of the officials’ hands.

  2. Video: Controversial Kane goal has Laviolette fuming

    Apr 17, 2015, 11:21 PM EDT

    lavioletteap AP

    All the breaks seem to be going Chicago’s way.

  3. Video: Frantic end to period includes Josi goal, Preds-Blackhawks fight

    Apr 17, 2015, 10:52 PM EDT

    NHL Playoffs: Chicago at Nashville, Game 1 Getty Images

    Not a great start to the playoffs for Corey Crawford.

  4. Washed over: Caps control Isles, tie series 1-1

    Apr 17, 2015, 9:53 PM EDT

    John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson AP

    Quite a comeback win for Washington.

  5. Video: Nifty work from Nicklas Backstrom

    Apr 17, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Washington Capitals Getty Images

    He blew the Islanders’ minds on this one.

  6. Stone’s in for Senators tonight

    Apr 17, 2015, 7:02 PM EDT

    P.K. Subban, AP

    He seemed tentative in warm-ups …

  7. Sedin says tonight’s game versus Flames is ‘must-win’

    Apr 17, 2015, 5:07 PM EDT

    Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks - Game One Getty Images

    “It seems when we lose a game everyone’s really focused to get back on the winning track.”

Featured video

Sens need to control emotions after Subban slash
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Pacioretty (4167)
  2. P. Kane (3692)
  3. R. Nash (3298)
  4. K. Letang (3164)
  5. M. Giordano (2458)
  1. M. Fisher (2317)
  2. M. Stone (2313)
  3. Z. Kassian (2304)
  4. J. Abdelkader (2253)
  5. M. Perreault (2212)