Now that the Pittsburgh Penguins have decided to fire head coach Dan Bylsma after recently hiring Jim Rutherford to be their new General Manager, it’s time to ask the $64,000 question. Did the Washington Capitals make the right decision in hiring Barry Trotz instead of waiting for Bylsma? I believe the answer is yes, for two reasons.
Dan Bylsma Isn’t As Good Of A Fit In Washington As Trotz
This is not at all a jab at the coaching ability of Dan Bylsma. He’s a good coach. You have to be a good coach to accomplish what he has. However, he wouldn’t have been as good of a fit in Washington as Trotz. The Capitals have underachieved the past three seasons. With all due respect to the Penguins, it’s tough to say that the Penguins haven’t underachieved as well, especially when you consider that they have arguably two of the top five players in the world in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Meanwhile, during Trotz’s tenure with the Nashville Predators, the Predators more often than not overachieved. They got more out of less. Therefore, it’s not a stretch to say that Trotz would be a great fit for a team with more talent than the Predators.
Dan Bylsma would have been a solid coach with the Capitals. It’s hard to say that he’d be a better fit for what the Capitals need right now than Trotz though.
By Waiting for Dan Bylsma, The Capitals Could Have Set Themselves Up For Failure
Had the Capitals “waited” for Dan Bylsma to be fired, they would have been taking an enormous risk. Suppose the Capitals would have waited for Bylsma to be fired. They almost indefinitely would have missed out on Barry Trotz. Considering the coaching candidates on the market right now, the Capitals would have to compete with every other team with a coaching vacancy for the right to be coached by Dan Bylsma.
If the Capitals would have missed out on Dan Bylsma after passing up on Trotz, they’d be in very bad shape. They’d have to find a head coach when outside of John Tortorella, there are very few experienced head coaches who are available. That would have been deflating and crippling for the Capitals.
You might prefer Dan Bylsma to Barry Trotz, and that’s understandable. However, I thoroughly believe that the Capitals made the right decision by hiring Trotz because missing out on both Bylsma and Trotz would have been crippling for the franchise.