It sounds as though the Washington Capitals will have their new head coach hired before they bring in a general manager. Multiple reports have former Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz closing in on a deal with the Caps to become the club's new head coach. Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press and ESPN's Pierre LeBrun have similar reports that a deal is near.
nothing completed at this point but hearing that talks intensifying between Washington Capitals and Barry Trotz— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) May 24, 2014
It has long believed that Washington and Trotz were a likely match as he got his head coaching start with the organization's AHL team in 1992-93. Trotz spent 15 seasons with the Predators before being let go this offseason.
Reports recently surfaced that Trotz had interviewed with team owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick on Tuesday.
It is interesting that the Caps will be making this decision before hiring a general manager, but time was precious as Trotz was probably going to be one of the most sought after coaches available on the market this offseason. That makes filling this position more of a priority as a number of qualified GM candidates are available.
His history with the team and his level of experience may be good for the Caps whose last five head coaches were NHL rookie coaches when they started in Washington. That makes the experience Trotz has particularly invaluable to this organization.
Though the Predators have perennially been a low-scoring team under Trotz, he has never had offensive weapons at his disposal like Alex Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom. It should be interesting to see how his system fits Washington, should this deal be finalized as soon as it is being reported it will.