Barry Trotz near deal to coach Capitals, reports say

Reports Saturday night indicated that the Washington Capitals are close to landing Barry Trotz to be the 17th coach in franchise history.

Trotz, 51, the most coveted coaching candidate available, was in Washington on Tuesday to meet with Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and team president Dick Patrick. According to CBC's Elliotte Friedman, Trotz has begun telling other teams he is no longer on the market. Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press was the first to report that Trotz, a Manitoba native, was nearing an agreement to join Washington.

Trotz did not return a text message seeking comment. If the Capitals are set to bring Trotz aboard, an announcement would be expected early this week.

A veteran NHL coach, Trotz spent 16 years with the Nashville Predators but has ties to the Capitals and a long-standing relationship with Patrick from his five-year tenure as coach of Washington's AHL affiliate (1992-1997), which included two seasons with the Baltimore Skipjacks.

On April 26, when the Capitals fired George McPhee and Adam Oates, Patrick said the organization was open to hiring a coach before a manager.

Trotz has said he'd like for a team to have a general manager in place before taking a new job, so that might mean he approves of the Caps' finalists. Among those believed to be in the running for Washington's general manager position are former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, Nashville assistant GM Paul Fenton — who both worked with Trotz when with the Predators — and Boston Bruins assistant GM Don Sweeney.

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