Photo: Bruce Bennett
When Barry Trotz took over as the head coach of the Washington Capitals the summer 2014, the team was in disarray, with a myriad of self-inflected wounds from the tenure of Adam Oates, who was soon run out of town.
Just two years later, Trotz led the Caps to a 56 wins, the most in franchise history, as the team captured its second Presidents’ Trophy. Now he’s won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year as voted on the league’s broadcasts, picking up the trophy at the NHL Awards Show at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino here in Las Vegas.
After Oates’s depature, the team’s general manager, George McPhee, was fired a few weeks later after Washington missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. Before a new GM was even hired, Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis and team president Dick Patrick swooped to get Trotz, who was fired by the Nashville Predators earlier in the offseason. He was the only coach Nashville had known in their 15 seasons in NHL.
The team’s turnaround under Trotz has been remarkable. They were one game away from the Eastern Conference Final in his first season in 2014-15 and captured the Presidents’ Trophy this season before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins in a hard-fought series. Trotz is the third coach in team history to win the Jack Adams.
“Being up for the Jack Adams means I had a terrific hockey team that preformed at a very high level,” Trotz said on the red carpet just before the Awards Show began. “To me, it’s an organizational win. I’m going to be the representative for the Washington Capitals and the players who had a terrific year, our coaches, everybody. It would be an honor on the organization. I don’t think it does anything for me particularly. I’ve been in this position a long time and I know how many people it takes to have a successful season.”
Leonsis was quick to acknowledge Trotz’s accomplishment. Trotz had been nominated for the award twice before.
Congratulations to Barry Trotz on winning the Jack Adams Award, well deserved! #NHLAwards
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) June 23, 2016
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