In front of over 80 media and staff, including players Braden Holtby, John Carlson, Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera, owner Ted Leonsis introduced Barry Trotz as new head coach and Brain MacLellan as new general manager of the Washington Capitals today at the Verizon Center.
Trotz and MacLellan offered no specifics on their plans for the Capitals, other than to answer almost every question with the theme that the Capitals have the talent to get in the Stanley Cup mix right away, so long as they first forge a new identity.
When repeatedly asked for specifics on this new identity, both Trotz and MacLellan cited the need for consistency, hard work, discipline and accountability. The only specific example given was the need for a harder camp with an emphasis on better conditioning.
Trotz was asked about his reputation as a defensive coach now that he has some of the best offensive weapons in hockey. Trotz explained that a team takes on the identity of its top players. His goal is not to take anything away from the team offensively. Defense is about getting the puck back to the offense quickly. He did note that the Capitals need better balance.
Lastly, Trotz said he had not talked to Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin had just won the world championships for Russia, and Trotz joked Ovi was at Putin’s house when he called.