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June 7, 2018

Barry Trotz

Las Vegas, Nevada: Game Five

Capitals - 4, Golden Knights - 3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We talked earlier in the playoffs about having a kinship with some of these players that have gone through a lot, haven't been able to get over the hump. When Ovi handed you the Cup, what was that moment like?
BARRY TROTZ: It was sort of a real special moment because we've sort of lived the same life a little bit. We had a conversation. Obviously we were down 2-0 against Columbus. We said, We're winning tomorrow, and we're going to go win a Cup together.

We got a good bond. I think we have a good relationship. I was really happy for him. I'm so happy for that group, for all the stuff that they had to endure, all the things that were said about them, Ovi in particular, Backie, that whole group.

To me, they changed all the narratives. They checked off every box. Look at every series, we were down in every series, come back in every one. It was probably fitting we were down in this game and had to come back and win.

Q. Is this more meaningful to you because you don't know exactly what's going to happen next for you? Maybe did you approach it differently, given that?
BARRY TROTZ: I don't know if I did. I think I approached the whole year the same way. Like I said, I got some clarity in my own thought process. I think it just calmed everything down.

I've done lots of good things in my life. I will continue to do that. So I wasn't getting consumed with what was said, what my future holds, whatever. I'm in a pretty good spot.

Q. As a point of clarification, when you went to visit Alex, that was last summer?
BARRY TROTZ: Yeah, actually I saw him right after his wedding, before he went on his honeymoon.

Q. Can you let us in a little bit on what that conversation was all about, maybe how it might have put the seeds in place of what's going on now?
BARRY TROTZ: Me and Alex have always had very honest conversations. It's not X's and O's, it's just life stuff. I said, We're still a pretty good team, and can be as good as we want to be, but we've got to change a couple things. We're not going to have the same team. We lost a lot of quality people.

He's going to have to probably carry a little more of the burden. The game is changing, so you're going to have to come up with a few more tricks in your game. As you're getting older, we're going to have to train a little different so you become the athlete you always have been, because these young kids can absolutely fly.

You still got the skill set, still have that, but we're going to lean more heavily on you, and you got to be ready for that. You're the one that's going to set the tone.

What does he do? He comes into the start of the season, gets seven goals in two games. There's guys that can't get seven in a year, he got seven in two games.

He sort of set that bar personally because a lot of things were said about him that I think he is very prideful and just said, You know what, I'm going to prove you all wrong. And he did.

Q. Talk about your favorite moment on the ice tonight, something maybe you saw in celebration or a conversation you had.
BARRY TROTZ: There's all of them. On the ice, probably for someone who wasn't a very good hockey player, never played in the National Hockey League, lifting the Cup, getting to lift it with Alex, who we sort of got a little bit of the same story, if you will. That was pretty special.

To me, it's all the sacrifices that your family has had to make, all the sacrifices of that. You missed important things. But I always dreamed about it. When you're not a good player, you go, Maybe I never will lift that Cup. You always played for it on the street, on your knees in the hallway against your best friend and stuff.

Jack Button, who got me a little bit into coaching. There's a couple people.

Today when we lifted the cup with Alex, I was so happy for him, so happy for my family. I was so happy for people who have been really endeared me in this game. One was Tommy (indiscernible) when I was in Portland. I think he stood behind me. I thought I was going to get turfed one year, I think in Baltimore, he was one of the guys that got behind me. Jack Button who hired me. David Poile. One of my mentors coaching, Wayne Fleming.

When I lifted the Cup, those four people came to mind.

Q. Can you talk about how valuable Kuz was in a run, and also touch on Holtby's play.
BARRY TROTZ: Kuzy was fantastic. He took over games. That was a toss-up for me. I thought they were neck-and-neck. If you ask me who gets the Conn Smythe, I thought, man, that's going to be a tough choice. Kuzy probably deserved it. Probably have to split that in half for me, they're both so good.

He's just scratching the surface. People are finding out how good a player he is. Exceptional talent.

Obviously Holtz, just like all great goaltenders, you go through some dry spells in your games or you lose your way a little bit, your foundation. When he sort of lost that number one role a little bit, where Grubauer took over for a long stretch, I think two things happened. I think it reset him, got him back to his foundations. He's a blue-collar guy from Saskatchewan. I think that got him back to a lot of those foundations, got him acutely focused.

With Holtz, we had a conversation. He was very respectful. He understood that he wasn't going to start in the playoffs. He said, If I get a chance to go back in, I'm going to be really good for you.

He was.

I think also when you get reset, you get a little bit of a break, because he's a guy that puts a lot into his craft. You see the preparation before games. He didn't have to play as much, too. That might have been the difference.

Q. (Question about being in a good spot.)
BARRY TROTZ: I'm just in a good spot personally. I love what I do in Washington. I love the guys. I'm just in a good spot, a good place. I didn't mean it any other way.

Q. I know the timing isn't great, but so many people who cheer for you, are happy for you, are also wondering about your future. Do you think there is one with the team you just won the Cup with?
BARRY TROTZ: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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