The Washington Capitals decided to move on from Todd Reirden after just two years as head coach and won’t be taking another risk with their next hiring. That’s what Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic says in his latest column, explaining that the Capitals are focused on bringing in a proven head coach instead of giving another newcomer an opportunity.
That means the names are familiar ones when discussing the Capitals coaching vacancy. Gerard Gallant, Peter Laviolette and Mike Babcock are the first three names that LeBrun mentions, though even former Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau gets a few paragraphs as well. Washington went 89-46-16 under Reirden since winning a championship in 2018 but were quickly dumped in the playoffs both years. Still in their win-now window with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom leading the way, Washington is also looking for a coach that will “hold the team’s top players accountable.”
- Geoff Ward spoke to reporters including Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet yesterday and explained that he would consider a return to the organization even if the Calgary Flames decided to go in a different direction at head coach. Ward would obviously rather take the head coaching position himself, but declined the opportunity to campaign for it through the media. He took over as head coach when Bill Peters resigned early in the season and led the Flames to a 24-15-3 record, but was also part of the collapse against the Dallas Stars. The Flames allowed seven straight goals in an elimination game and Ward pulled starter Cam Talbot and then reinserted him during the collapse. With substantial changes likely coming in Calgary, they may also want to go with a different face behind the bench.
- One coach that likely isn’t going anywhere this offseason is John Tortorella, even though his Columbus Blue Jackets failed to advance past the first round. Even getting that far was seen as quite the accomplishment for the veteran coach, but he’ll lose out on a little salary in the process. The league today fined Tortorella $25,000 for his comments (or more specifically his lack of comments) after game five against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tortorella took two questions and then stormed out of the press conference, obviously frustrated with the loss. The penalty is actually a collection of the conditional fine that was assessed on January 1 after a previous incident. This is the 13th time Tortorella has been disciplined by the league.