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Barry Trotz not bothered by lack of contract extension with Capitals

Being unsigned beyond 2017-18 'has 0.0 effect on me'

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he isn't worried about going into the final season on his contract in 2017-18 without any talk of an extension.

"It has 0.0 effect on me actually. Not at all," he said Friday. "I think it might have [had] an effect 10, 12 years ago for me. Not now. It has zero effect. I'm not worried about that at all."

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan has not started extension talks with Trotz, the 2016 Jack Adams Award winner. On May 30, following a 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round, MacLellan didn't rule out an extension for Trotz but sounded as if he intended to wait to see how the Capitals begin next season.

"I think we're in a period here of uncertainty where we have to drill down some specific stuff," MacLellan said that day. "I think we needed improvements throughout our organization, myself included. I think once there's evidence of those improvements, a contract extension could take place."

Following the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago on Saturday, MacLellan was asked again if extension talks with Trotz might take place later this summer; he replied, "Maybe it could. We'll see."

Adding to the speculation about Trotz's future was a Sportsnet report that the Capitals denied other teams permission to speak with associate coach Todd Reirden about coaching vacancies following this season. Reirden has two years left on his contract after being promoted last summer.

Trotz, who turns 55 on July 15, said he coached during the final season of a contract during his 15 seasons with the Nashville Predators. He was let go by the Predators following the 2013-14 season and hired by the Capitals on May 26, 2014.

Trotz is sixth in NHL history with 713 regular-season wins but never has advanced beyond the second round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Capitals have lost in the second round in each of Trotz's three seasons despite a 156-63-27 regular-season record and winning the Presidents' Trophy the past two seasons.

The Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup after eliminating the Capitals each of the past two seasons. The loss to the Penguins this season particularly was frustrating because the Capitals believed they had a team capable of winning the Stanley Cup for the first time.

An extension would give Trotz some security during what likely will be a transition season for the Capitals, with unrestricted free agent defensemen Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk and forward Daniel Winnik not expected to be re-signed. But Trotz said he's confident enough in his abilities that after 18 seasons coaching in the NHL not to worry about it.

"I think I have a resume and been around the League long enough and proved myself," Trotz said. "I don't feel like it's that big of a deal for me. [I] just think I'm in a good spot. Maybe we'll have our best year."

Asked if he anticipated getting a contract extension done during the season, Trotz said, "I really don't care if it does or not. It's 0.0 [effect], 0.0. So that was my answer. I don't care if it does or not. [If] people want to talk, we'll talk."

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