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Trotz (kinda) downplays doubts about working with Ovechkin

Aug 30, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

Washington Capitals Introduce General Manager Brian MacLellan And Coach Barry Trotz Getty Images

Many believe that the Washington Capitals’ success with Barry Trotz may hinge on how the defensive-minded head coach gets along with Alex Ovechkin, but Trotz downplayed that situation with the Tennessean on Friday.

Well, sort of:

“I think people make too much out of it,” Trotz said. “I do know how I operate will be different from previous staffs. Until we go into the season and start playing real games, our relationship will be fine.”

Trotz seemed to be going strong with those first two sentences, but that last one might raise an eyebrow or two?

“What happens once the real games begin?” is a perfectly reasonable question to ask, although perhaps Trotz merely means that he’s giving the 28-year-old star a clean slate? (That would probably be ideal.)

The former Nashville Predators head coach might cringe at the skepticism regarding his ability to relate to Ovechkin, yet he’s also fed a fire or two with offseason comments, especially noting that the high-scorer has “too much glide in his game.”

Broadly speaking, there are probably two contrasting opinions on this hire:

1) Trotz will give Ovechkin and the Capitals the “tough love” they need.

2) He won’t be able to adapt to a team with a different set of strengths and this will end up being another questionable front office move by the Capitals.

Hey, if nothing else, would-be cautionary tale Alex Radulov recently said some nice things about Trotz

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