The new era for the Washington Capitals has officially begun with the Capitals hosting their first press conference with head coach Todd Reirden and General Manager Brian MacLellan (GMBM). Reirden, the former assistant coach will now take the lead, make the tough calls for the team, and be the guy meeting with the media. And he has a great first day!!
The Voice of the Capitals, John Walton first introduced GMBM who then turned the podium over to the new HC. Mac opened by saying: “We feel fortunate to have an internal candidate of of Todd’s quality” who will build on the success they have. He sees keys and strengths for selecting Reirden as “Development” and “Working well with defensemen” And “Communication” He likes the way he communicates with players at all levels of their development, including “depth players” And he is “technically sound…He is not afraid to be creative. He’s open minded to try new things.“.
Reirden began by thanking the organization for the opportunity, including Barry Trotz for bringing him to Washington. He said: “It is an honor and privilege to be the Washington Capitals head coach.”
Reirden repeatedly said that he has a plan and a process for moving forward and to keep on winning with the team that is returning. There will be few changes to the roster; however, he is excited to take on the challenge of developing younger players as well as challenging those with years of experience. He knows that he has to treat each player as a “separate entity” and is excited about going through the development and establishing trust in a new partnership.
The coach will have a team that is basically unchanged from the Stanley Cup winners. It is a group he knows well and who know him. The transition should be seamless; however, as with any new coach, there will be some changes. The most evident we will likely see is his emphasis on developing younger players, of which the Caps have quite a few now because of the salary cap. He has walked the walk and knows that he can “have a huge role” developing players. He has the advantage of already knowing the staff and said this of them: “I’m excited to have Blaine Forsythe come back…and continuing to see Scott Murray, our head goalie coach.” Also stressed the important contributions the video coaches Brett Leonhardt and Tim Ohashi who will help to prepare the team for games, as well as the coaches challenge.”
He spoke highly of Barry Trotz and said that he was one of the coaches in the past that helped shape him as the coach he will be. He said he has spoken with Trotz and that he will “take advantage of what I learned from him.” That said, he has clearly moved on!
He even thanked the media for their support and the positive message they put out. And he THANKED YOU the fans who “Went to a completely different level this year. They never quit on us.”
It is obvious that these two gentlemen have a lot of respect for each other. That is a key element in an organization that wants to keep on winning. There will be no taking the foot off the peddle!!