Trotz reflected on that time in his career Thursday during an appearance on Hockey Central. Trotz was asked whether or not he enjoyed coaching superstars because his Islanders are a team without one. That’s when the veteran bench boss complemented Ovechkin’s continued maturity as one of the league’s elite talents and faces of the game.
“I love superstars,” Trotz said. “I’ve had the opportunity to have different style teams with similar identities but opposite identities in some ways. Obviously my former place in Washington you got stars like Alex Ovechkin. Those are great challenges because you’re looking at a player who does something very unique and trying to grow him in areas.”
Trotz went 205-89-34 with the Capitals, winning three division titles, two Presidents’ Trophies, a Jack Adams Award and capped off his tenure there with a Stanley Cup championship.
During that time, Ovechkin won three Rocket Richard Trophies and earned the Conn Smythe on his team’s Cup run.
“In Alex’s case, he grew as a person, as a leader, defensively. I loved the way he’s grown away from the game,” Trotz added. “He values his value systems a lot different than it was when he was 21 or 22 years old and turning the league on its ear with his talent and his passion and growing to become a really good leader in the league in the right areas and understanding the balance between all that.”