Barry Trotz resigns as Capitals' Stanley Cup-winning coach, giving Islanders new free-agent target

Barry Trotz is hitting the open market.

Eleven days after leading the Washington Capitals to their first-ever Stanley Cup title, Trotz has resigned as the team’s head coach and is now a free agent.

The Islanders, with Lou Lamoriello having cleaned house, are the only other NHL team with a head-coaching vacancy.

“Barry Trotz informed the organization today of his decision to resign as head coach of the Washington Capitals,” the Capitals said in a statement. “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.”

It was understood that the 55-year-old Trotz, who won the first Cup of his coaching career, was in the final year of his contract. But Sportsnet reports that his contract would extend for two years if he won a Stanley Cup. Trotz began coaching the Capitals in the 2014-15 season. He was reportedly making $1.5 million, and according to the Athletic the extension would’ve given Trotz a $300,000 raise.

That would be well below what the two highest-paid coaches in the league are making, with Toronto’s Mike Babcock at $6.25 million and Chicago’s Joel Quenneville at $6 million. Unable to renegotiate an extension, Trotz opted to step down, per reports.

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The best photos from the 2018 Stanley Cup Final
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 02: Devante Smith-Pelly #25 of the Washington Capitals falls along the boards against Jonathan Marchessault #81 of the Vegas Golden Knights during the second period of Game Three of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Capital One Arena on June 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 28: An official moves in to separate Ryan Carpenter #40 of the Vegas Golden Knights and Lars Eller #20 of the Washington Capitals in the first period of Game One of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on May 28, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights defeated the Capitals 6-4. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 28: Devante Smith-Pelly #25 of the Washington Capitals and Shea Theodore #27 of the Vegas Golden Knights fall to the ice in the third period of Game One of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on May 28, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights defeated the Capitals 6-4. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 28: Ryan Reaves #75 celebrates his goal with teammates Deryk Engelland #5, Tomas Nosek #92, Shea Theodore #27 and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare #41 of the Vegas Golden Knights against the Washington Capitals in Game One of the Stanley Cup Final during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena on May 28, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 28: Tomas Nosek #92 of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrates after scoring a third-period, empty-net goal against the Washington Capitals in Game One of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on May 28, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights defeated the Capitals 6-4. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 30: Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals makes a diving stick-save on Alex Tuch #89 of the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period in Game Two of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on May 30, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Capitals defeated the Golden Knights3-2. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)
May 30, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) makes a diving save against the Vegas Golden Knights in the third period in game two of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
May 30, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Officials try to break up a scrum as Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller (6) tackles Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) in the third period in game two of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 02: Devante Smith-Pelly #25 of the Washington Capitals reacts after scoring a goal against the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period in Game Three of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Capital One Arena on June 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 04: (L-R) Vegas Golden Knights fans Jay Bryant-Chavez, Brock Williams and Pamela Salas, all of Nevada, react during a Golden Knights road game watch party for Game Four of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals at T-Mobile Arena on June 4, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 04: John Carlson #74 of the Washington Capitals is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a second-period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Four of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Capital One Arena on June 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 07: Devante Smith-Pelly #25 of the Washington Capitals scores a third-period goal past Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Five of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 07: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights saves a shot during the second period against the Washington Capitals in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena on June 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 07: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his goal against the Vegas Golden Knights during the second period of Game Five of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 07: Lars Eller #20 of the Washington Capitals is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a third-period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Five of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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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 to Sportsnet. “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. I would like to thank Mr. Leonsis, Dick Patrick and Brian MacLellan for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great organization. I would also like to thank our players and staff who worked tirelessly every day to achieve our success.”

On June 5, Lamoriello, the Islanders’ new president of hockey operations, fired both GM Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight. Lamoriello assumed GM duties while both Snow and Weight were to remain with the organization in different capacities.

Lamoriello is looking to turn the Islanders around quickly. Adding Trotz to the fold would bring much-needed stature behind the Islander bench. The questions are whether ownership would meet Trotz’s salary demands and if Trotz is interested.

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