Seize the Day: Bring Ray Shero and Barry Trotz to DCPosted on May 16, 2014 by Thomas Mee
Now that the Wizards uplifting run in the NBA playoffs has come to an end, Ted Leonsis and Dick Patrick can turn their full attention to the Capitals general manager and coaching search. A resolution to this ongoing saga is needed soon. The NHL draft is just over a month away, followed shortly by free agent frenzy. The idea that the Caps can go into this pivotal period without a management team in place is ludicrous, despite assertions to the contrary at the press conference announcing the dismissal of the previous regime.
Fortunately, the Caps arch rival and nemesis Penguins have inadvertently given them an opportunity to make what I believe would be home run hires: Ray Shero as general manager and Barry Trotz as head coach. Sure, some would bristle at the thought of hiring someone from the Pens. To me, not seriously considering him would be shortsighted, to say the least. What the Pens see as disappointing, most Caps fans would take in a heartbeat: A Stanley Cup; 2 Finals appearances; a conference final last year; and the playoffs every year of his tenure. What's not to like? Some might argue that their development of young players leaves something to be desired. However, their Wilkes Barre-Scranton affiliate has had continued success, and there seems to be talent in the pipeline, particularly on defense. When a team is earning 100+ points and contending for a Stanley Cup year in and year out, it can be difficult to integrate young players into the regular lineup.
It is already being reported by hockey insiders that Shero is a favorite for the job here. Looking at some of the other alleged candidates,such as Mike Gillis, Darcy Regier, and Jay Feaster, this looks like a no brainer to this observer. An opportunity to hire a proven winner like Shero does not come along every day. This hire would also be less risky than bringing in an unproven assistant GM from another team.
The last, but not least, reason to seriously consider hiring Shero, is his connection to Barry Trotz, considered by most insiders to be the best available experienced coach out there. Most agree that the Caps need an experienced coach, given all of the recent issues with first timers. Trotz had success helping to build an expansion Nashville franchise from the ground up. It would be intriguing to see what he could do with a team like the Caps which has more resources than the small market Predators. As alluded to earlier, Trotz also has a long term history of working with Shero from his days as assistant GM in Nashville.
Now that the Pens have foolishly, in my view, made him available, it's time for the Caps to seize the day and get this done. Bring Ray Shero and Barry Trotz to DC! This is a potential win-win. Shero will have major motivation to surpass the Pens, which is music to the ears of any self respecting Caps fan!