Barry Trotz has been a coach in the NHL for 19 seasons, the last four being with the Washington Capitals. This 2017-18 season, Trotz has led the Capitals to their best postseason performance yet, and done it all without a definitive contract for the upcoming season.
Trotz is 55 years old, and holds the highest winning percentage and the second most wins in franchise history. The possibility of a contract extension for Trotz is up in the air. In recent interviews, Trotz has seemed to be accepting of the fact that this might be his last season with the Capitals. “I signed for four years, and this is the fourth year,” Trotz said. “Beyond that, who knows? I haven’t worried about it. I haven’t lost any sleep or anything.”
Trotz’s contract uncertainty is quite unusual for the NHL. The last time a situation like Trotz’s has occurred was in 1986, when Jacques Demers coached the St. Louis Blues to being within one win of the Stanley Cup Finals without a written contract agreement for the following season. As a result, Demers ended up leaving the Blues and coaching the Detroit Red Wings.
Trotz does have a possible option with the New York Islanders, where recent general manager hire, Lou Lamoriello, plans to make big ‘culture changes.’
But to Barry Trotz, none of this matters. All that is on his mind is winning Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals and leading the Capitals to their first championship in franchise history.
Watch Game 5 tonight at 8pm est.