There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the Washington Capitals and Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky’s name has consistently popped up as a candidate to be the new team president. According to Jill Sorenson of CSN Washington, Wayne Gretzky is not going to be hired by the Washington Capitals in any sort of role. In an interview with CSN Washington, she said some interesting things, including that the Washington Capitals “are looking for a hockey manager, not an ambassador… they need someone to help them win on the ice… they are seeking an experienced hockey manager”. While Wayne Gretzky is an inspiration to hockey players everywhere and is arguably the hockey’s greatest ambassador, he does not fit Sorenson’s description of what the Washington Capitals are looking for. The Capitals don’t need an ambassador- they consistently fill (or at least sell a ticket for) every seat at the Verizon Center. A team like the Florida Panthers or Buffalo Sabres could use Gretzky. But the Washington Capitals? With all due respect to Wayne Gretzky, the Capitals have no need for him.
Who would fit Sorenson’s description of what the Washington Capitals are looking for? This is pure speculation, but someone like former Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Ray Shero would make a lot of sense. Yes, Shero’s a horrible drafter, but if Shero kept Assistant General Manager Brian MacLellan and Director of Amateur Scouting Ross Mahoney and allowed them to do what they do so well (drafting and scouting amateur talent), I think Shero could be a good fit with the Capitals. If they want to hire a head coach who fits that description, Barry Trotz has ties to the Washington Capitals organization. He has also worked with Ray Shero while he was in Nashville. Obviously, Dan Bylsma knows Shero quite well too, but Bylsma is still the head coach of the Penguins. For how long he will remain the head coach remains to be seen.
So if what Sorenson says is true, Ray Shero and Barry Trotz would make a ton of sense for the Washington Capitals.