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Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals

Barry Trotz resigned as the coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday, less than two weeks after he had guided the team to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship.

It was believed that Trotz’s contract ended after this season and that he had been discussing an extension. However, Eliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada reported that Trotz’s contract included a clause that automatically triggered a two-year extension when the team won the Cup. Trotz and club executives could not agree on what his increased compensation would be, Friedman reported, and he is now an enticing free agent.

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“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. “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.”

Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz smiles after left wing Alex Ovechkin, right, scored a goal in a March 12 game against the Winnipeg Jets in Washington.
Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz smiles after left wing Alex Ovechkin, right, scored a goal in a March 12 game against the Winnipeg Jets in Washington. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

He also thanked owner Ted Leonsis, club president Dick Patrick and general manager Brian MacLellan.

Trotz earned $1.5 million plus bonuses last season in leading the Capitals past their history of longstanding playoff failures. The highest-paid NHL coach, Mike Babcock of the Toronto Maple Leafs, earns more than $6 million per year. Several others, including Edmonton’s Todd McLellan and Chicago’s Joel Quenneville, earn more than $2.5 million per season.

The Capitals also issued a statement.

It read: “Barry Trotz informed the organization today of his decision to resign as head coach of the Washington Capitals. We are obviously disappointed by Barry's decision, but would like to thank Barry for all his efforts the past four years and for helping bring the Stanley Cup to Washington. Barry is a man of high character and integrity and we are grateful for his leadership and for all that he has done for our franchise.”

Few coaches have stepped away after winning the Cup. In 2002, Scotty Bowman retired after the Detroit Red Wings prevailed, and in 1994 Mike Keenan cited breach of contract for resigning as coach of the New York Rangers a month after the team won its first title in 54 years.

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