Washington Capitals fire Todd Reirden

Todd Reirden, Washington Capitals (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Todd Reirden, Washington Capitals (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Big changes are coming to the Washington Capitals. Todd Reirden is out.

Washington Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan made the first big move of the offseason, rightfully reliving coach Todd Reirden his duites. Now the head coaching position is open in Washington.

Reirden, who’s 49, was the 18th head coach in Capitals franchise history and led the the team to a 89-46-16 record from 2018-20 including back to back Metropolitan Division titles.

But that wasn’t enough as Reirden’s Capitals were bounced in the first round in two straight years. First in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes then this past week in five games to the New York Islanders.

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Championships have been the expectation for the last decade in the Alex Ovechkin era and Reirden had a tall order having to fill in the shoes of the only coach in that era to have guided Washington to that elusive Stanley Cup. That same coach beat them in the playoffs this year.

MacLellan said in a team press release:

"“We have higher expectations for our team, and we felt a fresh approach in leadership was necessary. We would like to thank Todd for all of his hard work and efforts with our organization. Todd has been a big part of our team for more than half a decade, including our Stanley Cup run in 2018, and we wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”"

Reirden was a big part of working with the defense as an assistant coach. In the latter years of the Barry Trotz era, Trotz was on a short leash and Reirden was prevented from interviewing with other teams. The Caps pretty much blocked him off.

2018 was a weird year. In the middle of it, Trotz could’ve been let go in November but the Caps prevailed in their home games around Thanksgivng. It also might’ve been thought that the team was going to fall flat in the second round again which was why there wasn’t any talks of a contract extension. We all know what really happened that year.

Then came the end where the Caps won the Cup and after all the hoopla Trotz walked out the door, giving the keys to Reirden. He since had those high expectations placed on him and he failed to live up to it. He failed to inspire the team in the playoffs and was out coached by his predecessor.

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Now the Caps have to search for a new bench boss and let’s hope they go with someone with experience in their field rather than a rookie head coach.