We have finally gotten over the surprise resignation of Coach Barry Trotz and we are excited about the next phase in Caps history with newly named coach Todd Reirden. The Capitals announced on Friday afternoon that they have inked a new contract with Reirden to promote him to head coach.
There were lots of contenders but one-by-one they fell away to other deals or retirement. As we wrote earlier, Reirden had the blessing of GM Brian Maclellen right out of the gate. He brings with him a wealth of experience and the trust of the players who know and respect him.
GMBM has this to say about his new coach:
“We feel that the time is right for Todd to lead our hockey club,” said MacLellan. “Based on his coaching experience, communication abilities, his approach to the game and the respect he commands in our locker room, we feel that Todd has earned this opportunity. Todd has played an integral part in helping lead our team to the Stanley Cup championship and we feel his appointment as head coach will enable our organization to transition seamlessly into next season and beyond.”
Todd Reirden joined the Pittsburg Penguins franchise in 2010 under the mentor ship of Dan Blysma. Even then he had his eyes on the head coach job telling reporters: “This is something that’s going to prepare me one day for being a head coach.” By June 2014 Blysma and Reirden were both gone from Pittsburgh with the arrival of Mike Johnston. After six years with the Pens franchise, he found himself working the defense for the Capitals with another coach with a lot of experience and wisdom to share with him.
In eight seasons of assistant/associate coaching in the NHL, he only went to the final round one time – this time.
We will get our first chance to see him in his new role during the Caps training camp. This will also be the first time he has to make some of those tough calls- who to add to the roster, who to send to Hershey, and who to release. We can’t wait to see what he brings to the team as they start that run for back-to-back cups!!