NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.
It was a statement profound in its simplicity.
"There's a big difference between a good team," Trotz told Elliotte Friedman, "and a team with talent."
Washington is undeniably a team with talent. Alex Ovechkin is the NHL's premier goal-scorer. Nicklas Backstrom may be its most underappreciated superstar. Mike Green might not wow fans like he used to, but he is still capable of awe-inspiring rushes.
Yet the Capitals were not a good team last season, at least according to their lofty standards. Their absence from the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007 served as proof and an awakening. General manager George McPhee, the franchise's architect for nearly two decades, was not offered an extension. Coach Adam Oates was fired after two seasons.