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.

“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.