- The Washington Times - Monday, June 18, 2018

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Monday associate coach Todd Reirden is a “good candidate” for the team’s coaching vacancy after Barry Trotz’ sudden resignation.

Reirden, 46, was responsible for Washington’s defensive schemes and development. He was hired in 2014 to join Trotz’ staff as an assistant and was promoted in 2016 to his current position.

Reirden has been linked to other coaching vacancies in the past and was a finalist in 2016 to become the head coach of the Calgary Flames. Last year, the Capitals denied Reirden the opportunity to interview for open positions, a sign they wanted to keep him under contract.



“I’d like to sit down with Todd and have a normal head coaching interview. I think most of our discussions are just casual,” MacLellan said. “It’s about hockey in general. But I’d like to do a formal interview with him and just see if there’s differences or how we see things the same and if he’s a possibility for the head coach.”

Trotz resigned after he and the Capitals could not agree to a long-term extension, with the length of the contract being the sticking point.

Reirden, meanwhile, is a logical candidate because of his familiarity with the Capitals’ system.

MacLellan said the Capitals don’t have a timetable for the hire.

But there is a sense of urgency, given the NHL draft takes place next week and free agency begins July 1. Washington has 10 free agents, including defenseman John Carlson.

“It could be a natural transition,” MacLellan said of Reirden’s potential hire.”But once we sit down and talk face to face about all the little small details in the team, I’ll have a better feel for it.”

So what are the Capitals looking for in their next head coach?

“Someone that’s up to date on the modern game, someone that’s progressive, looking to try different things, someone that has a good relationship with players, that can communicate, can teach, make players better,” MacLellan said.

Reirden began his coaching career in 2007 as an assistant for Bowling Green State University. He joined the Pittsburgh Penguins’ staff in 2010 under coach Dan Bylsma after a stint as head coach in the American Hockey League.

He also played professionally, being drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 1990 and spending most of his career in the minors.

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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