Less than two weeks after lifting the Stanley Cup Jaleel Scott Jersey , Barry Trotz is a free agent and the Washington Capitals are looking for a new coach.
Trotz stepped down as Capitals coach on Monday after a contract dispute over salary and term that leaves the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft and free agency fast approaching. General manager Brian MacLellan said the Capitals accepted Trotz’s resignation after they were unable to agree on terms on a new contract.
Winning the Cup less than two weeks ago triggered a two-year extension for Trotz that would have given him a slight bump in salary to just over $2 million, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce the extension.
”His representative wants to take advantage of Barry’s experience and Stanley Cup win and was trying to negotiate a deal that compensates him as one of the better coaches in the league, top four or five coaches,” MacLellan said at a news conference in Arlington, Virginia. ”I think the five-year term is probably a sticking point. You have a coach that’s been here four years, you do another five, that’s nine years. There’s not many coaches that have that lasting ability. It’s a long time and it’s a lot of money to be committing to a coach.”
Toronto’s Mike Babcock makes the most at $6.25 million on an eight-year deal after coaching Detroit for 10 seasons, Chicago’s Joel Quenneville is next at $6 million entering his ninth full season with the Blackhawks and Montreal’s Claude Julien brings in $5 million after coaching Boston for nine-plus seasons. All three have won the Cup like Trotz, including Quenneville three times.
If Trotz was paid among the top five, it would have put him in the $4 million-plus range annually – a price the Capitals have not been willing to pay for coaches.
”After careful consideration and consultation with my family William Nylander Jersey , I am officially announcing my resignation,” Trotz said. ”When I came to Washington four years ago we had one goal in mind and that was to bring the Stanley Cup to the nation’s capital. We had an incredible run this season culminating with our players and staff achieving our goal and sharing the excitement with our fans.”
The 55-year-old Trotz went into the season with an uncertain future after ownership and MacLellan declined to talk about a contract extension last summer after back-to-back Presidents’ Trophy-winning seasons that ended with second-round exits.
”We were struggling at the time to get over the hump,” MacLellan said. ”We couldn’t get out of the second round and Barry hadn’t been able to coach out of the second round yet either. I think from the organization’s perspective, some changes would’ve had to be made if we lost in the second round again.”
That didn’t happen as a relaxed Trotz played a vital role in Washington’s first title in franchise history. He survived a rough start to the season and other struggles before he and the team found a stride in the playoffs.
As part of the uneasy arrangement, associate coach Todd Reirden – who was not allowed to interview with other teams last summer – remained on staff and was considered the coach-in-waiting. Reirden is now the leading candidate to take over for the defending champions, though MacLellan wants to go through an interview process with the former Pittsburgh assistant first.
”Todd’s a good candidate for it,” MacLellan said. ”We’re going to start with Todd here, and we’ve been grooming him to be a head coach whether for us or for someone else. We’ll see how the talk goes with him and then we’ll make a decision based on that. If it goes well, then we’ll pursue Todd, and if it doesn’t Geronimo Allison Jersey , we’ll open it up a little bit.”
After the Capitals accepted his resignation, Trotz will be an intriguing figure on the coaching market.
Only the New York Islanders have a current coaching vacancy, though given Trotz’s success in Nashville and Washington, other teams might consider making a move to hire him. Trotz has the fifth-most victories in NHL history and has guided a team to the playoffs in 11 of his 19 seasons. He is 762-568-60-134 overall with the Predators and Capitals, and he won 205 of his 328 regular-season games (63 percent) since taking over as Washington’s coach in 2014.
Trotz had his fingerprints all over this championship, pushing all the right buttons by putting goaltender Braden Holtby back in net early in the first round and making the correct lineup decisions throughout the playoffs. He was also a popular coach with his players, helping playoff hero Devante Smith-Pelly and others find their stride.
”He changed this team with family mentality,” top-line winger Tom Wilson said last week. ”He did a really good job of creating that team atmosphere. You look three or four years back, there was a lot of skill on this team, but there wasn’t really that team mentality and you can never take that away from what that did for this locker room.”
Despite his contract situation Victor Mete Jersey , Trotz appeared relaxed throughout the postseason, even as Washington vanquished playoff nemesis Pittsburgh. After the Capitals trailed in all four series and came back to win the Stanley Cup, Trotz told fans at the victory parade last week: ”We’re going to do it again!”
Instead, Trotz is looking at the next stop in his career and the Capitals are looking for a new coach.
The Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals will play the rubber match of their current series and their season series Wednesday afternoon.
The teams have split the first two games of their series at Citizens Bank Park and are 3-3 against one another in 2018. Jake Arrieta and Michael Wacha will face off for the second time this season.
Arrieta (5-5, 3.33 ERA), who spent four-and-a-half seasons with the Chicago Cubs, is familiar with the Cardinals. The veteran right-hander is 8-5 with a 2.38 ERA and a 9.5 K/9 rate in 18 career starts against St. Louis. The ERA is the third-lowest for Arrieta against any opponent he’s faced more than twice in his nine-year major league career.
Arrieta gave up four runs (two earned) in just three innings against the Cardinals during a rain-shortened start on May 18.
Arrieta also had a short outing the last time he was on the mound. Facing the Brewers last Friday, he surrendered eight runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks over 3 1/3 innings. It marked the third straight start in which Arrieta gave up at least four earned runs, and his ERA has risen from 2.16 to 3.33 over that span.
Arrieta took blame after the 13-2 loss.
“It was (bad) all the way around,” he told mlb.com. “I single-handedly lost us the game. I put up a five-spot in the second inning JK Scott Jersey , and it wasn’t because of the defense really. And again, if there’s a play on defense that’s not made, it’s our job to get the next guy out to pick that guy up. And I didn’t do that.”
Wacha (8-2, 3.24 ERA) is also coming off a short start.
The right-hander was hit hard against the Cubs on Friday. He allowed nine runs (eight earned) on seven hits and four walks in four innings. Wacha picked up just his second loss of the season and his first since his season debut against the New York Mets on March 31.
Wacha gave up three homers in the loss after allowing just three long balls in his previous 12 starts.
“They were all elevated, middle of the plate,” Wacha told mlb.com. “I just have to do a better job of locating and getting it where I need it to go.”
Wacha tied his season-high with eight strikeouts against the Phillies on May 18. He allowed only two runs on five hits across six innings in that start, and has a 4.15 ERA in six career starts against Philadelphia.
Wacha will try to help the Cardinals win back-to-back games for the first time since June 8-9.
St. Louis was a 7-6 winner Tuesday night thanks in large part to Matt Carpenter. The infielder hit the game-winning home run in the ninth inning off Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez and also had a two-run double. Carpenter has homered in three straight contests and is hitting .316 in his last 13 games.
Carpenter has just four hits in 38 lifetime at-bats against Arrieta, but two of them have been home runs.
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