Washington Capitals Announce Firing of Coach Todd Reirden

Jordan Cohn
August 23, 2020 - 2:23 pm

After a disappointingly early exit from the 2020 playoffs, which came fresh off of an early exit from the 2019 playoffs, the Washington Capitals have decided to part ways with head coach Todd Reirden. It was only his second year as head coach, though he had previously been with the team since 2014 in a smaller capacity.

His firing seemed not to come as a result of the team's regular season success: the Capitals finished in first place in the Metropolitan Division in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, accumulating an 89-46-16 record. However, his playoff record was at the opposite end of the spectrum: a first-round loss to the Carolina Hurricanes last year, and a first-round loss to the Islanders in the 2020 bubble playoffs marked a frustrating duo of years following a 2018 Stanley Cup win.

The Capitals released a statement regarding their decision, citing the need for a "fresh approach in leadership."

Reirden assumed the role of head coach in 2018 after the team struggled to come to an agreement with Barry Trotz, despite a Stanley Cup victory before the contract disputes began. Coincidentally, Trotz now leads the Islanders, who trounced the Capitals in this year's five-game first-round series.

The team's next candidate could be someone with more experience than prior head coaches, according to general manager Brian MacLellan.

This doesn't come as much of a surprise, considering the recent history of Capitals head coaches (h/t Pete Blackburn of CBS Sports).

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