After just two seasons behind the Capitals bench, and with two years remaining, the Todd Reirden era in Washington is over according to the team. He was 89-46-16 in his two regular seasons.
Hearing Washington is making a coaching change. Todd Reirden is out.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 23, 2020
Since their Stanley Cup win in 2018, the Washington Capitals have failed to make it out of the first round in each of the last two seasons. In both instances, they didn’t put up much of a fight as they lost 4-3 to the Hurricanes in 2019 and 4-1 to the Islanders this season. Coincidently, the loss came at the hands of their former bench boss, Barry Trotz, who led the team to their first Stanley Cup Championship.
The decision to move on from Trotz following their Stanley Cup victory in 2018 was questioned then and will continue to be questioned now. Especially considering what Trotz has done in his two seasons in New York following the departure of captain John Tavares. However, the coach that opposed Trotz in the Finals during his final season just happens to be available.
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Gerard Gallant seems like the obvious choice for a veteran Capitals team who may still have a window to win a Cup with their current group. That is not to say that Gallant or whoever they bring in as Reirden’s successor won’t have some decisions to make. For one, the future of Braden Holtby in net will likely be one of the biggest storylines surrounding the Capitals outside of the coaching search.
Gallant, the 2017-18 Jack Adams Award winner, compiled a 118-75-20 record in two-plus seasons. He took the expansion Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season and he returned to the playoffs the following year. Gallant was fired earlier this season after starting 24-19-6 through 49 games.