Barry Trotz wants to get paid.
And because the Capitals weren’t willing to meet his demands, the Stanley Cup-winning coach is a free agent able to sign elsewhere without compensation due to Washington.
Trotz announced on Monday he was resigning from the Capitals after leading that organization to its first NHL title.
Other than the Capitals, the Islanders are the only NHL team without a coach as new president and general manager Lou Lamoriello is still conducting his search to replace Doug Weight, who was relieved of his duties on June 5.
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan told the Washington media on Monday afternoon that Trotz’s representatives indicated he wanted to be compensated among the top four or five coaches in the NHL. While acknowledging Trotz probably deserves to be paid that highly, MacLellan added that not every team is willing to spend that much on a coach.
The Maple Leafs’ Mike Babcock sets the bar among NHL coaches with his reported $6.25 million annual salary. The Blackhawks’ Joel Quenneville makes a reported $6 million per season and the Canadiens’ Claude Julien is earning a reported $5 million annually.
Like Trotz, Quenneville, Babcock and Julien have all won at least one Stanley Cup.
Trotz’s contract reportedly called for a two-year extension because the Capitals won the Stanley Cup. However, MacLellan indicated Trotz was looking for a new, five-year deal, which he called a “sticking point.”
MacLellan also said because the Capitals accepted Trotz’s resignation, he is free to coach elsewhere without any compensation due.
Trotz, who turns 56 on July 15, spent four seasons behind the Capitals bench and was the Predators coach from 1998-2014.
“After careful consideration and consultation with my family, I am officially announcing my resignation as Head Coach of the Washington Capitals,” Trotz said in a statement released by the team. “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.”
Trotz will become the first coach not to return to his team immediately after leading it to the Stanley Cup since Scotty Bowman retired after the Red Wings won in 2002.
Mike Keenan left the Rangers after winning the Stanley Cup in 1994 to become GM/coach of the Blues.
Meanwhile, another veteran NHL coach came off the market on Monday when Dave Tippett was hired as a senior adviser for the Tod Leiweke-run group trying to secure an expansion franchise in Seattle.