“It has zero point zero effect on me, actually. Not at all,” Trotz said Friday when asked how he is approaching a contract year. “I think it might have an effect 10, 12 years ago for me. Not now. It has zero effect. I’m not worried about that at all.”
There were various topics for Trotz to discuss in the interim, as the NHL free agency period begins Saturday. The Capitals announced Friday that they have signed defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a six-year, $30.6 million contract. They signed T.J. Oshie to an eight-year, $46-million contract earlier in the offseason and still have four unrestricted free agents — Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, Philipp Grubauer and Brett Connolly — with whom to work out deals. A reported two-year, $3-million deal with Connolly is expected to be announced once free agency starts.
Outside of the restricted free agents, Trotz expects it to be quiet in Washington once teams can sign new players.
“I think the priority is on our existing guys, our RFAs. After that, that would probably be a [MacLellan] question on how busy we will be,” Trotz said. “I know they’ve been upstairs working at stuff for the last week. … They’re working hard. They’ll have a good plan. When the dust settles, we’ll see what we’ve got.”
Until then, Trotz and Capitals’ management will work to answer various roster questions. Re-signing Orlov gives some assurance heading toward next season, and Trotz said, “He’s turned himself into a pretty good player, a good piece for us, and he’s getting paid for it.” But the Capitals still have defensive holes to fill, and cap space is starting to run dry. Nate Schmidt was nabbed by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, and Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner are unrestricted free agents expected to sign with other franchises.
How the Capitals will look, especially at the blue line, is a continuing work in progress. And as of Friday, so is Trotz’s future with the team.
“I think I have a resume and been around the league long enough and proved myself,” he said. “I don’t feel like it’s that big of a deal for me. Just think I’m in a good spot. …
“Maybe we’ll have our best year,” Trotz added with a wink.
Then Trotz was asked whether he hoped to have a deal done during next season.
“No, I really don’t care if it does or not,” he said. “It’s zero point zero. Zero point zero. So, that was my answer. I don’t care if it does or not. People want to talk, we’ll talk.”
Then Trotz offered one more thought on his current contract situation.
“Zero point zero,” he said as he walked away from the podium and back toward the locker room.