Capitals name Todd Reirden as head coach

Todd Reirden
Todd Reirden (Getty Images)

As expected, the Capitals stayed within the organization to fill their head coaching vacancy, naming Todd Reirden as the 18th head coach in team history.

Reirden succeeds Barry Trotz, who resigned last week after leading the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup.

Reirden had been considered the favorite since Trotz’s surprise resignation. He interviewed for the job earlier this week and general manager Brian MacLellan told reporters the post was Reirden’s job to lose.

Reirden, 47, served as an associate coach with the Caps the past two seasons, after a stint as assistant coach from 2014-16. During that time he specialized in working with the team’s defensemen; the Caps ranked second in the NHL in goals against average (2.45) during those four seasons. Prior to that, he worked four seasons as an assistant with the Penguins.

“We feel that the time is right for Todd to lead our hockey club,” MacLellan said in a statement. “Based on his coaching experience, communication abilities, his approach to the game and the respect he commands in our locker room, we feel that Todd has earned this opportunity.

“Todd has played an integral part in helping lead our team to the Stanley Cup championship and we feel his appointment as head coach will enable our organization to transition seamlessly into next season and beyond.”

Reirden played for four different NHL teams as a defenseman from 1998-2004.