March 8, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals head coach Dale Hunter talks to his team from the bench during a timeout against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee announced Monday afternoon that Dale Hunter will not return as head coach of the Washington Capitals.
Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee announced Monday afternoon that Dale Hunter would not return as head coach of the Washington Capitals. McPhee made the announcement at the Capitals' breakdown day, which came less than 48 hours after the Capitals lost to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
In making the announcement, McPhee said Hunter's decision was "not unexpected," and acknowledged that the former Capital took the job on a one-year-deal when he was hired to replace Bruce Boudreau on November 28 of last year.
"We loved everything about Dale," said McPhee, who was informed of Hunter's decision on Monday morning. "We were delighted he could come in and spend 6 months with us. He really taught us the 'how' of winning."
The general manager said that he did not attempt to persuade Hunter to stay on because, as he put it, "there is no gray in Dale's life."
Prior to coaching the Capitals, Hunter was working as the co-owner, president, and head coach of the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Hunter was behind the bench for 60 regular season games in Washington, going 30-23-7. The Capitals finished with 92 points, two behind Florida in the Southeast Division.
McPhee did not elaborate on the timetable for hiring a new coach.
For more on the Washington Capitals, visit Japers Rink.