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Trotz, Capitals begin negotiations for new contract

55-year-old coach, signed until July 1, says there are some issues to work out

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Barry Trotz and the Washington Capitals have begun negotiations on a new contract for the 55-year-old coach.

After guiding the Capitals to the first Stanley Cup championship in their 43-season history, Trotz said he wants to stay, and general manager Brian MacLellan said he wants Trotz back.

But Trotz said there are issues the two sides need to work through first.

"I do want to be back," Trotz said Wednesday. "There's some things that we have to work out. I've talked to [MacLellan]. If we can get them worked out, then there's no question. I love the group of guys. I love the situation I'm in with the team, the location for my son and my wife and all that. So all that's in place. There's some issues that we've got to just work through, and we will and we'll go from there. We'll just work through it."

 

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Trotz did not say what those issues are.

MacLellan was conservative in evaluating his chances of re-signing Trotz, whose contract expires July 1.

"We're going to try," MacLellan said. "I talked to Barry this morning. I'll talk to ownership over the next week or so, and we'll continue to discuss everything and see where it goes."

Video: Barry Trotz on winning the Stanley Cup

Trotz is 205-89-34 over four seasons with the Capitals and won the Jack Adams Award as best coach in the NHL in 2015-16. Washington reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs each of his four seasons, finished first in the Metropolitan Division each of the past three, and won the Presidents' Trophy for best record in the NHL in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Trotz is fifth in NHL history with 762 wins, 20 behind Al Arbour for fourth place. He was 557-479-100 with 60 ties during 15 seasons with the Nashville Predators from 1998-2014 before joining the Capitals.

But after the Capitals were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Second Round in 2016 and 2017, MacLellan opted not to sign Trotz to a contract extension last offseason. That left Trotz to coach on the final year of his contract this season.

Now the clock is ticking for MacLellan to get Trotz signed before July 1.

"I don't think either side feels any pressure," MacLellan said. "If both sides come to an agreement and it works for both sides, it will work."

When asked how confident he is that the Capitals can get a contract done with Trotz, MacLellan said, "I don't know. We'll find out."

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said he hopes Trotz returns.

"Why wouldn't you?" he said. "But again, for me and for all the guys, basically it's his decision. He has to do it right, and I'm pretty sure he will do it the right way."

Video: Elliotte Friedman on the future of Trotz and Beagle

MacLellan confirmed that associate coach Todd Reirden, who was considered Trotz's potential successor heading into this season, has a clause in his contract that prevented him from talking with other teams last offseason, but that clause expires July 1. That would free Reirden to leave the organization.

MacLellan wouldn't say if he expects the entire coaching staff to return.

"We're going to address each one as it comes," he said. "We'll see what happens with Barry, and then we'll go from there with the staff."

When asked if he expected his full staff to be back next season, Trotz said again, "There's a few issues we have to go through."

Trotz, who will turn 56 on July 15, acknowledged there were moments this season when he wasn't sure if he wanted to return, but he downplayed them as a natural thought process.

"In every situation that you're ever in, you have some days where you go, 'What am I doing?'" Trotz said. "Yeah, you have them. I had them in Nashville. I had them in junior. I had them here."

Trotz hopes those days are behind him.

"I've got an opportunity here with [MacLellan] and with the Capitals," he said. "I started here, won the Cup here. We've got lots of good things going. So we'll work through it. We'll work through what we need to do. If that's what they want, then something will get done. If not, we'll deal with that."

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