When the game between the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders went to a pause for a commercial break, all eyes inside Capital One Arena were transfixed on the video board above center ice. A tribute video was played honoring Barry Trotz, the coach that guided the Capitals to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup and won the hearts of Washington as the first coach to guide a D.C. sports team to a championship for the first time in 26 years.
The video opened with Trotz’s introductory press conference back in May of 2014 with the words, “I got really excited about the opportunity to come back to Washington and I want to be a part of doing something special with a real special group here.”
Full video below:
To Barry, Lane and Mitch – THANK YOU! pic.twitter.com/ridVTWZwHh
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 19, 2019
The video ended with a nice touch by the Caps by not only including a picture Trotz lifting the Stanley Cup over his head but also the assistant coaches that followed him to the big apple, Lane Lambert and Mitch Korn. The trio each got their Stanley Cup rings in late November before the Caps took on the Islanders at Barclay’s Center.
Trotz spoke to the media before Friday’s game and noted a sense of nostalgia when asked about his return to Capital One Arena.
“My heart is full of good memories,” said Trotz.
“I worked with great people, we had good teams, won a lot of games and we did the ultimate. We won the Stanley Cup not only for the group of young men that were chasing it just like I have but also this whole fan base that’s so passionate and to see the excitement, it brought back all those memories. The parade, the winning, all the other stuff that goes along with it. I had a smile on my face all day today. My heart is full.”
Full interview below:
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 18, 2019
For many fans, it was their chance to show their appreciation for a very important figure one last time before his new team and former team did battle. It was a chance for Trotz to truly say goodbye to the fans, the arena staff and the entire Capitals organization. The Islanders went on to defeat the Caps 2-0, catapulting them into first place after many people prior to the season thought rebuilding the Islanders would have Trotz’s work cut out for him. That hasn’t been the case and now he’s brought his championship pedigree to a team looking to get back to the playoffs and back to their glory days of their 1980’s dynasty.
The Caps will see the Islanders again in March and perhaps April if seedings align.