The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Barry Trotz named to Team Canada staff

(AP Photo / Nick Wass)

This post was updated at 5:20 p.m.

Washington Capitals Coach Barry Trotz will be an assistant on Mike Babcock’s Team Canada coaching staff for the 2016 World Cup, Hockey Canada announced on Thursday.

Trotz joins Chicago’s Joel Quenneville, Boston’s Claude Julien and Carolina’s Bill Peters as assistants to Babcock, the Maple Leafs’ coach.

“You don’t get too many opportunities to do things like this,” Trotz said.

Before becoming the coach of the Capitals last season, Trotz, 52, was the only coach of the Nashville Predators for 15 seasons, where he ranked third all-time in both games coached (1,196) and wins (557) with a single franchise. In his first season with the Capitals, Trotz guided the team back to the playoffs, where Washington ultimately lost to the Rangers in a Game 7 overtime in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Dauphin, Manitoba, native additionally served his country as an assistant coach in the World Championships in 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2013. Trotz has twice been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award (2010 and 2011), given annually to the NHL’s top head coach, and finished in the top-five on four other occasions.

Trotz said Babcock and Team Canada General Manager Doug Armstrong reached out to Washington General Manager Brian MacLellan about Trotz becoming an assistant coach. MacLellan then gave Trotz a head’s up.

“It was nice, a couple guys came by when they sort of heard the rumor,” Trotz said. “They came by and said, ‘Hey, congratulations.’ That’s always good. It’s just as when players get to go to the Olympics and different things. It’s always a good honor.”

In addition to Canada, the eight teams participating in the World Cup of Hockey are the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Team Europe, Team North America and the United States. The tournament takes place from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 in Toronto, meaning it’s possible Trotz will miss most of Capitals training camp should Team Canada advance to the final.

“I have not tried to hire sheep, but I’ve tried to hire wolves,” Trotz said. “Those wolves will run training camp, and they’ll be in charge of that. We’ll put that plan in place. I don’t have that plan in place, and it won’t be in place for a while, but when we do, they’ll run it and do a fantastic job.”