The NHL offseason is here and the coaching carousel is in full rotation. After winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, the Washington Capitals have already found themselves a new coach. That's because Barry Trotz resigned to seek a better deal despite the Capitals' Cup win triggering a two-year extension on his expiring contract.
Here's every piece of 2018-19 NHL coaching news, updated:
Capitals promote Todd Reirden to replace Barry Trotz
Now that Trotz is settling into his new job with the New York Islanders (still hard to believe), the defending champions have officially promoted Reirden, the team's associate head coach of the last two years, to take over. Oddsmakers pegged the 47-year-old as the favorite for the opening, and his ascension is little surprise since he's been inside the organization since 2014. Originally hired to lead the Capitals' defensemen, the former New Jersey Devils blue-liner will be the 18th head coach in team history.
The Washington Capitals have named Todd Reirden the team’s head coach! #ALLCAPS— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 29, 2018
Reirden becomes the 18th head coach in #Caps history, after serving as an associate coach the last two seasons and assistant coach from 2014-16.
More Details: https://t.co/MTu1CVRMx8 pic.twitter.com/Nv3xpKDWc1
Before joining the Caps, Reirden spent four seasons as an assistant defensive and power-play coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Under his guidance, per the NHL, the Pens scored the most power-play goals (164) and posted the highest power-play percentage (22.3%) in the league since 2011. Prior to that, he assisted the Pens' Stanley Cup-winning staff in 2009 and served as a head coach for the American Hockey League's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins where he went 55-43-8.
Barry Trotz agrees to coach Islanders
It turns out when you're fresh off coaching a team to a Stanley Cup title, you don't stay unemployed long. Just a few days after resigning as head coach of the Capitals, Barry Trotz has found his next gig. The New York Islanders announced that Trotz will become the club's next head coach on Thursday afternoon.
Islanders News: President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello announced today that the team has hired Barry Trotz as Head Coach. pic.twitter.com/hf2uZIhy5z— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 21, 2018
It's rumored that the deal is for five years and will pay Trotz at least $4 million annually, per Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. While it may not be as much as Trotz was hoping to get on the open market, it's still a significant pay raise from the $1.8 million that Trotz was due to earn if he stayed with the Caps. More importantly for the Islanders and Lou Lamoriello, they land an established and respected coach that may help convince superstar John Tavares to stick around instead of going somewhere else in free agency.
Islander part ways with Doug Weight
The writing was on the wall for Doug Weight once Lou Lamoriello came into town as president of hockey operations for the Islanders. Weight, who coached only one season for the Islanders after being promoted from interim head coach (he went 24-12-4 in that stint), went 41-29-12 with the Islanders. However, in the competitive Metropolitan division, you need to do better. Islander fans are waiting with bated breath to see what John Tavares will do in free agency, and if he's to stay, real change is necessary. The Islanders also let go of 12-year GM Garth Snow -- which is perhaps even bigger news for Islander fans. Lamoriello will assume GM duties moving forward.
#Isles News: Garth Snow and Doug Weight have been relieved of their duties. Lou Lamoriello will assume the responsibilities of General Manager and begin the process to find a new Head Coach.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 5, 2018
Details: https://t.co/bm5cKNtak8 pic.twitter.com/Lj96EK6PWP
Carolina Hurricanes hire Rod Brind'Amour
The Carolina Hurricanes have found their replacement for Bill Peters, who resigned to fill the vacancy in Calgary, and it's a familiar face. Hurricanes' great Rod Brind'Amour, a former center who led the Hurricanes to their first and only Stanley Cup in 2006, will be on the bench for the Hurricanes next season.
OFFICIAL: #Canes Name Brind'Amour as Head Coach https://t.co/oWeM1Yekyl— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) May 8, 2018
Brind'Amour has been the Hurricanes' assistant and development coach since the 2011 season, just a year after he retired in 2010. His specialty, naturally, is in forward development, and with young players like Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen having breakout seasons in their early 20s, it appears to be paying off. Brind'Amour is a name that the Hurricanes can rally behind, now it's just time to hope that it goes better than the Patrick Roy experiment in Colorado. In addition to Brind'Amour, the Canes also named Don Waddell president and GM.
Dallas Stars hire Jim Montgomery
As first suggested by SB Nation College Hockey's Chris Dilks and reported by TSN's Elliotte Friedman among others, the Stars have officially announced they're doing a 180 after the retirement of Ken Hitchcock, going from seasoned leader to up-and-coming first-timer.
The Dallas Stars have announced Jim Montgomery as head coach. https://t.co/VFNDII6MRO— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 4, 2018
Montgomery isn't just any old NHL newbie, though. The 48-year-old former center (1995-2003) has spent more than a decade making a name for himself in the college ranks, starting as an assistant with Notre Dame and later, in 2013, becoming head coach for the University of Denver Pioneers, who won the national title in 2017 and went 125-57-26 under his watch. He's a relatively out-of-the-box replacement for Hitchcock, albeit one whose reputation as an aggressive players' coach should up Dallas' intensity.
Bill Peters hired by Calgary Flames
The previous two coaching moves could really only end like this. In what will likely be the least surprising move of the offseason, Bill Peters has been hired by the Calgary Flames after opting out of his contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. Although Peters went just 137-138-53 with the Hurricanes in four seasons -- never making the playoffs -- he'll have more talent on a Flames' roster just one year removed from the postseason. Peters said in his introductory press conference that the Flames have a "lot of good talent and a lot of good pieces." Peters, who hails from Alberta, added that "there's a different feel, a different buzz" to coaching in a Canadian market. The first (and most obvious) domino has fallen in this coaching offseason, and now the Stars and Rangers are on the clock.
Carolina Hurricanes' Bill Peters resigns
Days after the Flames axed Glen Gulutzan, the 53-year-old Peters has exercised the opt-out clause in his contract with Carolina, as NBC Sports reported and the NHL has since confirmed. No one may have seemed more like a goner than Peters as the Hurricanes wound down their 2017-18 campaign, which saw the team finish 36-35-11 and out of the playoffs for the ninth straight year. By initiating his own departure, the former Detroit Red Wings assistant has thrust himself into the rumor mill regarding Calgary's opening thanks to his connection to Flames management, his Alberta upbringing and his four years of experience.
Calgary Flames fire Glen Gulutzan
Just about nothing went -- or at least stayed -- right for the Flames in 2017-18, when an oft-injured and offensively inept group went 37-35-10 just a year after carrying momentum into the playoffs, where they were immediately swept by the Anaheim Ducks. Hired as head coach after a stint with the Dallas Stars in the same capacity from 2011-2013, Gulutzan reversed Calgary's fortunes in his first year on the job, getting the Flames back to the playoffs. But someone had to pay after their stinker of a follow-up this year.
Dallas Stars' Ken Hitchcock retires
Instead of letting the Stars make a tough choice after a 2017-18 campaign marred by a late-season slump, the 66-year-old Hitchcock retired from behind the bench on April 13, ending a 22-year run as an NHL head coach. His move to a front-office consulting role came just a year after he returned to Dallas for a second stint with the Stars, whom he led to the team's first-ever Stanley Cup win in 1998-99. Hitchcock is third in league history with 823 career victories and the Stars' winningest head coach, but his touch couldn't save an under-performing crop of big-name acquisitions after earning five postseason berths with the St. Louis Blues.
New York Rangers fire Alain Vigneault
The Rangers didn't waste any time making a change atop their staff after the last game of their regular season. Vigneault's April 8 dismissal may have been a surprise to the coach himself, especially since his five years running the show included a Stanley Cup Final appearance and Presidents' Trophy. But it was an anticipated shift for a team that went public with its intentions to rebuild after a disappointing 2017-18, which saw the Rangers miss the playoffs for the first time in eight years.