Tuesday, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan formally introduced Todd Reirden as the newest Washington Capitals coach. The two shared some of the things they see as key elements to continue a legacy of winning. Additionally we know a few things about Todd based on his past that suggests the kind of head coach he will be for the Caps. Here are some of the things about the Caps new coach that we think may make him the right man to step in as their 18th coach.
He isn’t afraid to try new things. He wants to “create an environment to challenge the players.” He will have a clear vision up and down the lines for the players.
Reirden has a lot of coaching experience and he has been preparing for this for a long time. He was Capitals assistant/associate coach for four seasons. He also was assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins for four seasons. He was a head coach for the AHL Wilkes Barre/Scranton Pens for two years and 36 of the players he worked with went on to play in the NHL.
- He credits Dan Bylsma and Barry Trotz for setting an example. He said he has learned much from them and will carry that with him as he establishes his own head coaching style.
- He stepped in as acting head coach for Caps training camp in 2016 when Trotz was up in Canada for World Hockey. He knows about the grueling long hours it takes to lead a team. He is ready to do it all himself– with the help of people like Laine Forsythe and Scott Murray.
He loves developing young players into super star players and building depth for existing players. And he is good at it. Ask Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen, or Michal Kempny about his influence on improving their game.
- He is “technically sound” and as we saw in 2016, he places a great deal of importance on the team’s practice to fine tune their play.
This 2016 mic’d up video from NBCSportsDc gives us a hint of what we can expect from HC Reirden. Cool, calm, and steady at the helm.
It is rare for a team to actually win the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons. Since 1990, Pittsburgh is the first team to do that (2016 and 2017) since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. The Pens also did it in 1991 and 1992. Reirden may just be what the Capitals need to make the subtle changes that will give them the better odds for another win in 2019!