The Capitals confirmed Trotz's decision Monday, and he provided a statement about the move, per CNN's Jill Martin:
"After careful consideration and consultation with my family, I am officially announcing my resignation as head coach of the Washington Capitals. When I came to Washington four years ago we had one goal in mind, and that was to bring the Stanley Cup to the nation's capital. We had an incredible run this season culminating with our players and staff achieving our goal and sharing the excitement with our fans. I would like to thank Mr. [Ted] Leonsis, Dick Patrick and Brian MacLellan for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great organization. I would also like to thank our players and staff who worked tirelessly every day to achieve our success."
The Associated Press initially reported (via ESPN.com) that Trotz's contract with Washington expired at the end of the 2017-18 season. However, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported that wasn't the case and that the Capitals' title victory triggered a two-year extension:
Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun
Barry Trotz had a clause in his contract where if he won the Stanley Cup he could accept a two-year extension with a $300k bump in salary. Obviously since he was only making $1.5M, low by today's NHL coach's standards, a $1.8-million salary doesn't cut it. So Trotz stepped down.
Trotz's departure sparked plenty of reaction on social media, with plenty of criticism directed toward the Capitals:
Isabelle Khurshudyan @ikhurshudyan
GM Brian MacLellan will meet with the media at 6 p.m. and there should be at least some clarification then, but yeah, it's not the best look when you win a first Stanley Cup and can't retain the head coach. That's an obvious risk in not extending him before the season,
Losing Trotz puts a damper on Washington's championship celebrations, and he leaves a massive void on the team's bench. With all the success the team enjoyed this year, finding a replacement may not be as easy as one would think.
Under Trotz's watch, the Capitals won 205 games in four seasons, which sets the bar high for his successor. In addition, ESPN.com's Greg Wyshynski outlined the difficult financial decisions Washington's front office will have to make in the near future. John Carlson and Jay Beagle are unrestricted free agents this offseason, while Andre Burakovsky and Jakub Vrana are headed for free agency in another year.
Trotz may have left at the perfect time. As the Capitals come to terms with the realities of the NHL's salary cap, they could begin experiencing the decline that generally befalls every team that contends over a period of years.