The Washington Capitals were expected to make sweeping changes if they didn’t perform well in another playoff run, with Barry Trotz’ coaching staff feeling the heat of perennial postseason disappointment. Those changes have begun in the AHL, as the organization announced it would not renew the contract for Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann or assistant coach Ryan Murphy.
The Bears failed to reach the postseason this year, finishing last in the Atlantic Division with a 30-37-9 record. Interestingly, that was the team’s first playoff miss under Mann, who assumed head coaching duties in 2014 after previously serving as an assistant with the club. In his previous three seasons the team had progressed to the second round each year, including reaching the Calder Cup Finals in his second year as head coach.
Mann likely won’t be out of work for long, but it will be interesting to see how long it takes the Capitals to replace him. The AHL replacement should be one that can work well with his NHL counterpart, using similar systems and player development. If the team is still entertaining thoughts of removing Trotz from his position behind the bench, his replacement should likely be in place before an AHL coach is hired.