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  • Less than two weeks after lifting the Stanley Cup Womens Kareem Hunt Jersey , Barry Trotz is a free agent and the Washington Capitals are looking for a new coach.

    Trotz stepped down as Capitals coach on Monday after a contract dispute over salary and term that leaves the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft and free agency fast approaching. General manager Brian MacLellan said the Capitals accepted Trotz’s resignation after they were unable to agree on terms on a new contract.

    Winning the Cup less than two weeks ago triggered a two-year extension for Trotz that would have given him a slight bump in salary to just over $2 million, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce the extension.

    ”His representative wants to take advantage of Barry’s experience and Stanley Cup win and was trying to negotiate a deal that compensates him as one of the better coaches in the league, top four or five coaches,” MacLellan said at a news conference in Arlington, Virginia. ”I think the five-year term is probably a sticking point. You have a coach that’s been here four years, you do another five, that’s nine years. There’s not many coaches that have that lasting ability. It’s a long time and it’s a lot of money to be committing to a coach.”

    Toronto’s Mike Babcock makes the most at $6.25 million on an eight-year deal after coaching Detroit for 10 seasons, Chicago’s Joel Quenneville is next at $6 million entering his ninth full season with the Blackhawks and Montreal’s Claude Julien brings in $5 million after coaching Boston for nine-plus seasons. All three have won the Cup like Trotz, including Quenneville three times.

    If Trotz was paid among the top five, it would have put him in the $4 million-plus range annually – a price the Capitals have not been willing to pay for coaches.

    ”After careful consideration and consultation with my family, I am officially announcing my resignation,” Trotz said. ”When I came to Washington four years ago we had one goal in mind and that was to bring the Stanley Cup to the nation’s capital. We had an incredible run this season culminating with our players and staff achieving our goal and sharing the excitement with our fans.”

    The 55-year-old Trotz went into the season with an uncertain future after ownership and MacLellan declined to talk about a contract extension last summer after back-to-back Presidents’ Trophy-winning seasons that ended with second-round exits.

    ”We were struggling at the time to get over the hump,” MacLellan said. ”We couldn’t get out of the second round and Barry hadn’t been able to coach out of the second round yet either. I think from the organization’s perspective, some changes would’ve had to be made if we lost in the second round again.”

    That didn’t happen as a relaxed Trotz played a vital role in Washington’s first title in franchise history. He survived a rough start to the season and other struggles before he and the team found a stride in the playoffs.

    As part of the uneasy arrangement, associate coach Todd Reirden – who was not allowed to interview with other teams last summer – remained on staff and was considered the coach-in-waiting. Reirden is now the leading candidate to take over for the defending champions Adidas Jakub Voracek Jersey , though MacLellan wants to go through an interview process with the former Pittsburgh assistant first.

    ”Todd’s a good candidate for it,” MacLellan said. ”We’re going to start with Todd here, and we’ve been grooming him to be a head coach whether for us or for someone else. We’ll see how the talk goes with him and then we’ll make a decision based on that. If it goes well, then we’ll pursue Todd, and if it doesn’t, we’ll open it up a little bit.”

    After the Capitals accepted his resignation, Trotz will be an intriguing figure on the coaching market.

    Only the New York Islanders have a current coaching vacancy, though given Trotz’s success in Nashville and Washington, other teams might consider making a move to hire him. Trotz has the fifth-most victories in NHL history and has guided a team to the playoffs in 11 of his 19 seasons. He is 762-568-60-134 overall with the Predators and Capitals, and he won 205 of his 328 regular-season games (63 percent) since taking over as Washington’s coach in 2014.

    Trotz had his fingerprints all over this championship, pushing all the right buttons by putting goaltender Braden Holtby back in net early in the first round and making the correct lineup decisions throughout the playoffs. He was also a popular coach with his players, helping playoff hero Devante Smith-Pelly and others find their stride.

    ”He changed this team with family mentality,” top-line winger Tom Wilson said last week. ”He did a really good job of creating that team atmosphere. You look three or four years back, there was a lot of skill on this team, but there wasn’t really that team mentality and you can never take that away from what that did for this locker room.”

    Despite his contract situation Youth Evgeni Malkin Jersey , Trotz appeared relaxed throughout the postseason, even as Washington vanquished playoff nemesis Pittsburgh. After the Capitals trailed in all four series and came back to win the Stanley Cup, Trotz told fans at the victory parade last week: ”We’re going to do it again!”

    Instead, Trotz is looking at the next stop in his career and the Capitals are looking for a new coach.

    The Cavaliers selected a point guard and pitch man.

    Moments after the team selected Collin Sexton with the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night, the Alabama playmaker made his appeal for LeBron James to re-sign with Cleveland.

    ”Man, LeBron, let’s do it,” Sexton said during ESPN’s telecast from the draft in Brooklyn. ”Let’s do it. I’ve seen you needed a few extra pieces this past season, and let’s do it. Let’s go back to the Finals.”

    The Cavs believe Sexton – and perhaps a few more tweaks to their roster – will help convince James there is no reason for him to leave home for the second time in his career.

    ”I hope,” said general manager Koby Altman, adding the club has no plans to trade Sexton. ”I think the pick along with our youth and our momentum as a franchise, for LeBron and for everybody, I think there’s a real energy here. And I think the talent level of Collin I’m almost sure LeBron recognizes.”

    Sexton averaged 19.2 points and 3.6 assists as a freshman for the Crimson Tide, and the 19-year-old also led the school to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. He’s confident, a proven scorer and he addresses a major need for the Cavs Youth Greg Olsen Jersey , who traded All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston last year and spent all season trying to replace him.

    Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue started eight different point guards during the regular season.

    Despite their issues at guard, James led the Cavs to their fourth straight Finals, but they sorely missed Irving and didn’t have nearly enough firepower to hang with the Golden State Warriors, who swept them and won their third title in four years.

    Cleveland used the pick to draft Sexton – previously owned by Brooklyn – that it received from the Celtics in the Irving trade.

    The Cavs’ front office led by Altman entered the draft in the dark on James’ plans. The three-time champion must notify the team by June 29 on whether he intends to opt out of his $35.6 million contract for next season – a move he is expected to make.

    Altman said he has had ”really good dialogue” with James’ management team.

    ”LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does,” Altman said. ”He’s done that before, so this is nothing new for us. We want to respect his space during this process. We don’t take him for granted. We love him, this city loves him. He means the world to us and this franchise.”

    Sexton has been on Cleveland’s radar for some time. The Cavs scouted him throughout the season, and the day after they lost Game 4 in the Finals, Sexton worked out at the team’s facility and owner Dan Gilbert referred to him as a ”very intriguing draft prospect” on Twitter.

    ”Loved the substance and character that he was about, and then he came here and had an unbelievable workout,” Altman said. ”And what was really encouraging about the workout is he actually shot it a lot better. It looked more pure, looked more natural, and his work ethic I know is going to be even better. I don’t want to put too much into the workout, but it helped. And then you feel people, like Cheap Customized Arizona Cardinals Jerseys , you feel them. You’re going to feel this kid.”

    While Sexton certainly improves the Cavs’ backcourt and adds a young player capable of breaking down defenders, there is no guarantee it will do anything to impact what James will do.

    In the meantime, Sexton has his fingers crossed that he and James will soon be teammates.

    ”He’s one of the best players to ever play basketball,” Sexton said. ”Just being able to come in and learn from him, it’ll be big for me and big for my growth.”

    James will factor family and his quest to win more championships into his decision. The 33-year-old has been unusually quiet on social media since the Finals ended, and he has given no hints about his future.

    If James doesn’t stay in Cleveland, there’s a strong chance he’ll look to join the Los Angeles Lakers, who have salary-cap room to sign two maximum contract players. James already owns two homes and a film production company in Southern California.

    Based on his wardrobe for the draft, Sexton may have had an inkling Cleveland was going to take him. He wore a crimson-and-black tuxedo jacket that perfectly complemented the wine-colored Cavs cap he was given before taking the stage to shake hands with Commissioner Adam Silver.

    Sexton burst on the national scene last season with several strong performances, including a 40-point game against Minnesota when Alabama had to play 10 minutes with just three players because of disqualifications.

    He went on to be named the SEC’s top newcomer and a first-team all-conference selection.

    ”It just shows all my hard work paid off,” Sexton said. ”I just grinded, started from the bottom and came back up to the top. That was the biggest thing, just show people what I can do.”

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