Barry Trotz and the Washington Capitals were last in the same building together June 7, when they experienced the cathartic joy of the Capitals' first Stanley Cup championship.
It didn't take long for joy to be replaced by the cold realities of business for Trotz and the Capitals, who couldn't agree on terms of a new contract before Trotz, who coached last season as a lame duck, announced he would leave the organization June 18.
Three days later, Trotz agreed to become the head coach of the New York Islanders. And on Monday night, 172 days after Washington clinched the Stanley Cup by beating the Vegas Golden Knights, Trotz will finally reunite with his former employers and players when the Islanders host the Capitals at Barclays Center.
Trotz's past and present teams are both entering the game with momentum. The Capitals extended their winning streak to five games Saturday with a 5-3 win over the host New York Rangers. The Islanders won for the second time in as many days Saturday, when they beat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1.
Of course, Trotz knows the buzz surrounding Monday's game has little to do with the recent fortunes of the Islanders and Capitals. After all, it's not every day a head coach receives his Stanley Cup ring while opposing the team whom he steered to the title. (Lane Lambert and Mitch Korn, who were the Capitals' assistant and goaltending coaches under Trotz last season and are the Islanders' associate and goaltending coaches this season, are also expected to receive their rings during Washington's visit.)
Trotz is the first coach to leave a Cup-winning team for another head coaching gig since Mike Keenan bolted the Rangers for the St. Louis Blues following the 1993-94 season. >> Read more
Copyright 2018 by the Associated Press