The Washington Capitals solidified their front office and coaching positions on Monday, with assistant general manager Brian MacLellan promoted to the GM's office and former Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz taking over behind the bench.
MacLellan is entering his third season with the club, spending the last two as assistant general manager after spending several years with the team's AHL-affiliate Hershey Bears. MacLellan spent 10 years in the NHL as a player, including winning the 1989 Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames. He becomes the sixth GM in team history.
"We are extremely pleased to name Brian MacLellan the team's general manager and welcome Barry Trotz to Washington as the Capitals coach,” said owner Ted Leonsis in a release. “After conducting an extensive search for a general manager, we determined that Brian was the best candidate to help us reach our ultimate goal, winning the Stanley Cup. We have witnessed his abilities firsthand, and we have tremendous respect for how he manages people and situations. We feel he has relevant, in-depth knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of our franchise and will be forceful in addressing them. Brian always has displayed tremendous professionalism, passion and commitment to the Capitals. He has his own unique approach, and we are confident in his abilities to lead this organization to new heights."
McLellan is also looking forward to assuming his new position.
“I am extremely honored and excited about the opportunity I have been given with the Capitals,” said MacLellan in a release. “Over the course of my career I have worked in acquiring the necessary skills to excel in this position. We have built a solid foundation, and I look forward to implementing my ideas to get us back to competing for the Stanley Cup. Also, it is a great pleasure to welcome Barry to Washington as the new head coach of the Capitals. Barry's teams have always played with structure, discipline and intensity, and I look forward to him leading us to success for many years to come.”
Trotz was fired by the Nashville Predators at the end of the season after 16 years as the only head coach in franchise history.
Trotz coached 1,196 games with Nashville, second only to Gregg Popovich of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs for longest active coaching tenure in the four major sports.
Trotz says he welcomes his new challenge.
“I am very excited to join the Washington Capitals and want to thank Ted Leonsis, Dick Patrick and Brian MacLellan for this opportunity,” said Trotz in the release. “This is a great organization with a strong foundation and a tremendous fan base. I look forward to working with this group of talented players and the quality front office staff this team has assembled.”
Trotz is the only NHL coach to make the playoffs with the same team in seven of eight seasons between 2003-04 and 2011-12 and becomes the Capitals' 17th head coach.
The Capitals fired head coach Adam Oates and did not renew the contract of general manager George McPhee at the end of the season after the team missed the playoffs with a record of 38-30-14.