Washington Capitals: Todd Reirden Relieved of His Coaching Duties

After the Washington Capitals lost in the opening round for the second consecutive season, they have decided to relieve head coach Todd Reirden of his coaching duties. Washington lost to the New York Islanders in five games this season and then lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games the previous season.

This only comes two years after they won the Stanley Cup in five games against the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season. Washington had Barry Trotz coaching the team then. Trotz should have never walked out that door, but that was management’s fault.

Who Replaces Reirden?

Reirden had the Washington Capitals finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division for the last two seasons with an 89-46-16 record. However, his playoff failures are what caused him out of Washington.

With this move coming in place, where could they get their next head coach from? Well, there are four intriguing names that are out there. They are Bruce Boudreau, Mike Babcock, Peter Laviolette, and Gerard Gallant.

There are pros and cons to both of these coaches.

Boudreau: Pros: He can take his teams to the postseason and has coached the Washington Capitals before.

Cons: He never gets it done in the postseason.

Babcock: Pros: He won’t have the egos as he did with the Toronto Maple Leafs. These players would buy into his system considering the fact that Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom don’t have many years left. Ovechkin is the heartbeat of this hockey team though nonetheless. We will see what happens moving forward though.

Cons: He can be overrated at times.

More Pros and Cons

Laviolette: Pros: He has taken two different teams to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Cons: He can be rough on his players at various times and sometimes tune out on him though.

Gallant: Pros: He has had success with different franchises and teams gave up on him coaching too soon. Players will enjoy his open ice style.

Cons: There may not be a lot of them and can’t think of it at the top of my head.

I think Gerard Gallant would be the obvious choice here. He coached the Vegas Golden Knights recently and was fired in favor of Pete DeBoer. Gallant led Vegas to the Stanley Cup Finals in its inaugural season.

As for Peter Laviolette, he was recently fired from the Nashville Predators in favor of John Hynes.

This is probably the best coaching market in years for next season. Washington is in win-now mode though.

Final Thoughts

We will see what direction they head in. We will see which direction senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan decides to go in though.

Gallant will most likely be the favorite. Laviolette, Babcock, and Boudreau will then come in that order though.

According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, Reirden had two more years remaining on his contract.

What do you think of the Washington Capitals firing Todd Reirden and who do you think will be hired as their next head coach? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.


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