Less than two weeks after coaching the Washington Capitals to the franchise's first Stanley Cup, head coach Barry Trotz has resigned.
Trotz, 55, told the Capitals about the decision Monday after a dispute over the salary and length of his contract.
"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," Trotz said in a statement. "We had an incredible run this season, culminating with our players and staff achieving our goal and sharing the excitement with our fans."
General manager Brian MacLellan said the Capitals accepted Trotz's resignation after they were unable to agree on terms on a new contract.
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"We are obviously disappointed by Barry’s decision but would like to thank Barry for all his efforts the past four years and for helping bring the Stanley Cup to Washington," the team said in a statement. "Barry is a man of high character and integrity and we are grateful for his leadership and for all that he has done for our franchise."
Neither Trotz nor the Caps gave a reason for the resignation, but the Associated Press reported they could not agree to terms on a new contract.
Winning the Cup triggered a two-year extension for Trotz that would have given him a slight bump in salary to just more than $2 million, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told the AP. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce the extension.
Trotz and the team could not come to terms on an annual salary that would have put him in line with other Cup-winning coaches, the AP reported. Toronto's Mike Babcock makes the most at $6.25 million. Chicago's Joel Quenneville is next at $6 million. Montreal's Claude Julien brings in $5 million.
"His representative wants to take advantage of Barry's experience and Stanley Cup win and was trying to negotiate a deal that compensates him as one of the better coaches in the league, top four or five coaches," MacLellan said. "I think the five-year term is probably a sticking point. You have a coach that's been here four years, you do another five, that's nine years. There's not many coaches that have that lasting ability. It's a long time and it's a lot of money to be committing to a coach."
Trotz's previous NHL head coaching stint lasted 15 years for the Nashville Predators.
After losing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Capitals won four in a row to clinch the Cup June 7.
The championship is the first for the franchise, which debuted in 1974. It was the first championship for any D.C. team in a major pro sport since the Redskins won the Super Bowl in 1992.
Before winning the Cup, the Caps won the President's Trophy in 2016 and 2017, as the NHL's top regular season club.
In December, Trotz became the fifth winningest coach in NHL history — finishing the season with 762 career wins — but he had never before advanced as far as the conference finals.