The Capitals’ search for a new coach and general manager took an interesting twist on Wednesday when TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported that Barry Trotz was in Washington on Tuesday to interview for the club’s coaching vacancy.
Dreger also reported that Wayne Gretzky, rumored to be interested in joining the Capitals’ front office, has not talked to the Capitals about a position with the team.
The Capitals have been seeking a new general manager and head coach since the dismissals of George McPhee and Adam Oates on April 26.
They reportedly have brought in Boston Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney and Nashville Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton for interviews and are believed to be considering former Penguins general manager Ray Shero as well.
Trotz, 51, worked with both Shero and Fenton during his 15 years as coach of the Nashville Predators. He is also familiar with the Capitals, who in 1992 gave him his first professional coaching position as head coach of their AHL affiliate Baltimore Skipjacks, who moved to Portland, Maine one year later.
Trotz led Portland to two Calder Cup Finals and won a championship with the team in 1994, paving the way for his hiring as the Predators head coach in 1998.
In 15 seasons with the Predators, Trotz’ teams went 557-479-100 with 60 ties. The Predators reached the Stanley Cup playoffs in seven of Trotz’ 15 seasons behind the bench but managed to win just two of their nine playoff series.
Trotz has also been mentioned as a coaching candidate in Vancouver, Florida and Carolina. He said recently that he would prefer to have a general manager in place before accepting a position with an NHL team. The Canucks are expected to name Bruins assistant general manager Jim Benning as their general manager on Thursday or Friday.