Update: This afternoon, Elliotte Friedman reached out to RMNB with new information he received today. “Someone reached out to dispute that Washington blocked a Mahoney interview from happening,” Friedman said. “I went through my notes last summer and a different story was told, but this person was adamant a ‘window’ to talk to Mahoney was granted and, for whatever reason, he was not hired.”
Original article: Thursday, Elliotte Friedman posted his latest 31 Thoughts column on Sportsnet and included another interesting tidbit about the Washington Capitals’ front office.
According to Friedman, the Caps were either unhelpful or obstructed an interview between the Vegas Golden Knights and Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney.
Last year, Vegas GM George McPhee asked Washington for permission to talk to Ross Mahoney, a former running mate who’s been with the Capitals for more than two decades. Depending on who you talk to, it was either rejected or delayed to the point opportunities were filled. Whatever the case, it led to conjecture that Mahoney could be a potential successor to current GM Brian MacLellan. MacLellan now has security with his new extension, and it will be interesting to see if other teams check again on Mahoney.
After the Capitals’ third consecutive second-round exit in 2017, the team decided to go into the 2017-18 regular season with both their general manager, Brian MacLellan, and head coach, Barry Trotz, in the last year of their deals. This direction was likely set by Capitals president Dick Patrick and team owner Ted Leonsis. Patrick and Leonsis hired Trotz in May 2014 before promoting MacLellan to GM, meaning Mac did not have an opportunity to hire his own head coach.
Now it appears potential suitors to both head coach and GM were lined up internally if things went south.
Sportsnet had previously reported that the Capitals also forbid associate coach Todd Reirden from interviewing with other teams for head coaching positions.
“Last year, Arizona, Buffalo, and Florida all asked to interview him,” Friedman said during the Caps Stadium Series game. “They were all declined. So it’s believed he’s the heir apparent.”
While Brian MacLellan recently received a multi-year extension, Barry Trotz’s future with team, beyond this season, is “uncertain.”
Buttressing previous reporting by Sportsnet, Bob McKenzie said last week that there have been no contract talks between the Capitals and Trotz this season.
McKenzie: Team general manager Brian MacLellan was extended last week, but nowhere in the news release was anything about Trotz. I’ve been told that there haven’t been any contract talks between the team and Trotz this year, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t change before the end of the year. But at this point, it does feel like his future is uncertain. That (and) perhaps the playoff performance of this team will have a bearing on whether or not Trotz gets an offer from Washington. If he does go to market, he’ll be a big name. Presently, Dave Tippett’s on the market, Darryl Sutter, Paul MacLean, Michel Therrien, and who knows who else with all the speculation out of Chicago in regards to Joel Quenneville, who’d be the biggest name of all if he leaves the Blackhawks.
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