To change Caps’ culture, ‘it’ll be uncomfortable for some guys,’ says Trotz


Barry Trotz is out to change the culture of the Washington Capitals.

And the new head coach knows that’s not an easy — or comfortable — thing to do.

“There’s no black and white,” Trotz told Monumental Network recently (video). “You have to be very specific, because guys don’t know what you want all the time. … At first there will be some pain. At the same time, the players want accountability, they want structure, and they want discipline. … It’ll be uncomfortable for some guys.”

Trotz has already spoken with captain and face of the franchise Alex Ovechkin.

“We’re going to work through some things that he can improve on to make him a better player,” Trotz said. “If he’s a better player, he’s going to make us a better team.”

The Capitals missed the playoffs in 2014 for the first time since 2007. Change soon followed, with the naming of a new coach, Trotz, and new general manager, Brian MacLellan.

“I think everyone knows what’s expected,” said Trotz. “The professionalism and the expectations are such that you have to buy in or we’ll be butting heads.”

Related: What does ‘good defense’ mean to Barry Trotz?