In his latest 30 Thoughts article for Sportsnet, NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman speculates that the Washington Capitals could move on from head coach Barry Trotz before making any serious considerations on Alex Ovechkin’s future.
A head coach is always on the hot seat when his team underperforms, but in Trotz’s case many feel he’s done a good job in Washington and should be afforded an opportunity to finish out his contract next season. History doesn’t side with Trotz however, points out Friedman. When former Capitals head coach Dale Hunter ran into problems with Ovechkin’s usage and relegated him to third line duty in the 2011-12 season, it was Hunter without a job in DC at the end of the season, not Ovechkin. Ditto for Adam Oates in 2014.
It’s well reported as well that former Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau and Ovechkin didn’t always see eye-to-eye during the former’s tenure in DC. Ultimately, when a decision had to be made on the franchise’s future, management decide to fire Boudreau and double-down on Ovechkin. Is Trotz reaching the same point in his tenure as Boudreau, Hunter and Oates? If so, who would they seek out as a replacement? And how long until that hire gets on the wrong side of OV himself? How long can the coaching carousel continue in DC before management takes a long look at their captain and face of the franchise?