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Tim Hunter, an assistant coach for the Washington Capitals when the team reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998, has been rehired by the team to serve as an assistant to new head coach Adam Oates.
Hunter served as an assistant for the Capitals under former coach Ron Wilson from 1997-2002. In that time, the Capitals appeared in the playoffs three times, including the Stanley Cup Finals appearance, and helped the team compile a record of 192-159-51-8. Hunter coached Oates and fellow assistants Calle Johansson and Olaf Kolzig when they were players for the Capitals.
Hunter played 16 seasons in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup championship with the Calgary Flames in 1989. He ranks eighth all time for penalty minutes, amassing 3,146 over his career. He also holds the Flames' franchise record for penalty minutes with 2,405.
Hiring a hard nosed coach like Hunter should help the Capitals with their aggressiveness and not lose the defensive edge they had under former head coach Dale Hunter.
In making his first hire of an assistant, new Capitals coach Adam Oates turned to a familiar face.
The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday morning that the team has hired Calle Johansson as an assistant coach. Johansson joined new head coach Adam Oates as the team looks to build on a trip to the playoffs last season.
Johansson should be a familiar name to Caps fans. The defenseman holds the record for the most games played as a Capital, with 983 games between 1989 and 2003. He also holds team records for points (474) and assists (361) by a blueliner and ranks third on the franchise list for goals scored with 113.
Oates, Johansson and goalies coach Olie Kolzig were all part of the team that reached the 1998 Stanley Cup finals.
Since hanging up his skates, Johansson has worked as a broadcaster for both the Swedish Elite League and the NHL. He was an assistant coach for Frolunda for one season, 2006-2007, during that time.
Long before George McPhee offered the Capitals' head job to Adam Oates, the center had made his mark with his on-ice analysis.
The NBA Draft isn't until Thursday night, but Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee took a page from Jay Bilas' Book of Draft Lingo at a press conference Wednesday afternoon to introduce Adam Oates as the 16th head coach of the Washington Capitals franchise.
#Caps GMGM says they wanted to a higher a guy with the "most upside", "difference maker"— Sky Kerstein (@SkyKerstein) June 27, 2012
That's right, McPhee's already into our yearly quota of "upside!' Somebody get the trademark attorneys ready!
There wasn't much in the way of earth-shattering news Wednesday afternoon. There was more gushing on the part of McPhee about Oates.
McPhee on Oates: "I really like the way he wants to play the game, how he's going to practice, how he's going to run the bench."— David Elfin (@davidelfin) June 27, 2012
Then there were some words from the man himself, beginning with an explanation of why the process took so long.
Also, there were some trenchant observations.
Oates says #Caps looked like 'a hockey team' in playoffs, and are 'very close'— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 27, 2012
Looks like Oates' new charges shouldn't expect Dale Hunter hockey to completely die away, after all. And following the press conference, there was this meeting of the minds between the Verizon Center's main winter occupants.
Adam Oates & Wizards Coach Randy Wittman meeting each other for the first time after today's press conferenc instagr.am/p/MY7U0LyGrF/— Washington Capitals (@washcaps) June 27, 2012
After getting a taste of Dale Hunter Hockey, the Capitals try to jump-start their offense again with the hiring of a Hall of Fame center.
Earlier today, the Washington Capitals formally announced the hiring of Adam Oates as the team's head coach with a press conference scheduled for Wednesday at the Verizon Center at 3 p.m. EST.
"Adam was a highly intelligent player in the NHL for 19 seasons," Caps General Manager George McPhee said. "He has been an assistant coach in our conference for the past three seasons and is prepared to lead our club as head coach."
But how long is that deal? What are the terms, exactly? Well, via John Shannon of JSports.net it's a three-year contract:
After short term contract that Dale Hunter had,great to see Caps gave Adam Oates a 3 year commitment.
Oates previously served as an assistant under Peter DeBoer with the New Jersey Devils.
The announcement that Adam Oates would become the 16th head coach of the Washington Capitals was greeted with general approval by members of the hockey media, as well as by members of the Capitals and Oates' former team, the New Jersey Devils.
A sampling of the selection is below.
Yahoo's Greg Wyshynski:
At face, it's a smart move.
If it's up-tempo McPhee wants, it's up-tempo Oates will deliver. The idea of Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Ribeiro working with one of the best centers in NHL history - sixth all-time in assists - is tantalizing. The idea that Oates will take over the Capitals' power play - which ranked behind that of the Devils' last season - is encouraging.
The major concern here isn't Oates' systems or game-plans. It's his inexperience.
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello also endorsed Oates' hiring, telling Tom Gulliti of The Record
"It's something that he wanted and I'm just glad it worked out for him," Lamoriello said. "He's been great for us, solid in every way and it's a great opportunity for him. We're totally supportive of it."
#NJDevils' Zubrus on Adam Oates: "I'm happy, I guess, for Washington, but a little bit disappointed because I liked him. I liked him a lot."— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) June 26, 2012
Just spoke w/ Zach Parise on Oates hiring, "He will do a great job there. It is a big loss for us, helped make a lot of us better players...— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) June 26, 2012
Adam Henrique on Oates Hiring, "WASH is getting a great coach. He did a lot for me this past yr and helped improve my game over the year....— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) June 26, 2012
As for what the Capitals players think, Oates has already apparently reached out to a certain Mr. Ovechkin.
The Washington Capitals star was wearing a wide grin Tuesday after learning that the team's new head coach, Adam Oates, has a track record of encouraging offensive play. That's a distinct departure from the defence-first system preached by previous boss Dale Hunter.
"It's not blocking the shots and it's not dump and chase," Ovechkin said during the NHLPA's executive board meetings. "Any system that I play I learn a lot. I'm an offensive guy, it's not a secret to anybody, and I'm pretty excited and very happy to hear the Caps signed that kind of guy who likes offence."
Hours after Adam Oates was announced as the new head coach of the Washington Capitals, he was officially announced as an inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame along with three others.
The coaching search by the Washington Capitals has come to a close. The team officially named former Capitals captain Adam Oates as the new head coach on Tuesday, according to an article on the team's website.
Capitals General manager George McPhee commented the move.
We are very pleased to name Adam Oates as the new head coach of the Washington Capitals. Adam was a highly intelligent player in the NHL for 19 seasons. He has been an assistant coach in our conference for the past three seasons and is prepared to lead our club as head coach.
Oates had spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils. The official press conference to announce the move will take place at Verizon Center at 3 p.m.
#Caps will introduce Adam Oates as team's head coach in a press conference tomorrow at 3 pm at Verizon Center— capsmedia (@capsmedia) June 26, 2012
Hopefully Adam Oates will continue the success that former head coach Dale Hunter had begun when he took over the previous year.
Its a swap of one former Washington Capitals player for another at head coach. Adam Oates, who spent six seasons as a player for the Capitals, will be named the new head coach of the Capitals, according to a tweet by TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger.
About to take off for Chicago. Hearing Adam Oates new head coach in Wash.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 26, 2012
Dreger's TSN colleague Bob McKenzie confirmed that tweet, saying that a formal announcement would come later Tuesday afternoon.
WSH will make formal announcement in about 30 minutes that Adam Oates is the new coach of the Capitals. Just as @DarrenDreger reported.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 26, 2012
McKenzie added that Oates had been one of the three finalists for the position, along with former Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Haviland and AHL head coach Jon Cooper.
Oates has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils after spending one season as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Oates had interviewed for the position more than one time so it was apparent that he was a strong favorite to return to Washington as a head coach.
The hope is that Oates will continue with defensive improvement and maybe add a bit more offensive excitement this season.
With the draft and trade talk in the rear-view mirror, Capitals General Manager George McPhee has one big item coming up next: selecting the team's next head coach.
It has been a busy weekend for the Washington Capitals, as they have balanced a search for a new head coach with making deft selections in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. With the draft now in the books, attention turns to the coaching search, with Capitals' general manager George McPhee saying the interview portion of the process has been wrapped up and the team "might" have a decision this week.
"We're done with all of the interviews and everything else," the Caps' general manager said. "We'll have to make a decision here in the next little while."
McPhee admitted the Caps "talked to a lot of people," and the names have been appearing all over the place. Ex-Chicago Blackhawks assistant Mike Haviland got an interview, The Washington Times confirmed, and Norfolk Admirals coach Jon Cooper is also under consideration. The other guy reportedly in the mix is New Jersey Devils assistant Adam Oates.
Oates has reportedly interviewed for the job more than once, with Haviland a late entry into the head coaching search. For now, Capitals fans will have to play the waiting game just a little big longer to see who will replace Dale Hunter as head man for Washington.
While focused on the 2012 NHL Entry Draft this weekend, the Washington Capitals still remained diligent in their search for a new coach. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com says you can add Norfolk head coach Jon Cooper to the list of candidates interviewed by Washington:
SB Nation DC's own Ted Starkey adds that Caps general manager George McPhee now says the interview portion of the coaching search is over:
McPhee noted the Caps had interviewed all coaching candidates, now would make the decision sometime following tomorrow's draft proceedings.— Ted Starkey (@TedStarkey) June 23, 2012
If recent reports are to be believed, it appears the decision might come down to Mike Haviland, a former assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks, or former Capitals player Adam Oates, who has interviewed more than once for the position.
Adam Oates was being linked with the vacant Capitals head coaching position even before his New Jersey Devils lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals earlier this month. If this report by Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos is true, get ready for that chatter to heat up.
Note Kypreos' use of the word "again," which implies multiple interviews. At this point, the list of realistic available candidates is starting to dwindle pretty quickly. McPhee has consistently said that no announcement would be made until after this weekend's draft. Like we've said so often this offseason, stay tuned ...
A wild card has come into play with the Washington Capitals coaching search, Mike Haviland, a former assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks has emerged as a strong and possibly leading candidate for the vacant position. Haviland was an assistant for the Blackhawks when they won the Stanley Cup in 2010. He was fired after the Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Phoenix Coyotes.
Chuck Gormley, Capitals insider for CSNWashington.com, says that Haviland has been interviewed by General Manager George McPhee, but has not been offered the head coaching job. Current Norfolk Admirals head coach Jon Cooper, fresh off a Calder Cup championship, will meet with McPhee this weekend.
Haviland has had a lot of success as a minor league coach, winning ECHL titles with the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies in 2003 and the Trenton Titans in 2005. He was also named AHL coach of the year while with the Admirals in 2007. His teams reached the playoffs in each of the seven years he coached in the minors, earning a .600 winning percentage in six of the seven years he coached. He helped in the development of many of the Blackhawks' key players.
He also aided the development of future NHLers Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Dustin Byfuglien, Dave Bolland, Adam Burish and [Troy] Brouwer. Haviland was responsible for the Blackhawks' special teams play and defensive schemes and was considered one of the finalists for the Winnipeg Jets' head coaching job last summer. Washington would prove to be a better fit, at least logistically, since Haviland's wife and three children live year-round in their home in Sea Girt, N.J.
If Haviland has that attention on defense, he could be a good replacement for Dale Hunter.
Following the conclusion of his playing career, Dale Hunter and his brother Mark became co-owners of the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Serving as coach since 2001, Hunter won the OHL Coach of the Year award three times before resigning from the position to serve as the head coach of the Capitals during the 2011-12 season.
Following a seven game loss to the Rangers in the second round of the NHL Playoffs, Hunter resigned from his position with the Capitals. Now, according to the London Free Press, Hunter is set to reassume his position as head coach of the Knights.
Hunter, who had been under NHL contract only for this past season, abruptly quit the Caps at the end of their run, saying he felt like he was needed most back at the "family business" with the Knights.
The Capitals have yet to name a replacement head coach and will likely do so after the NHL Draft.
SB Nation DC's new Capitals editor explores what the summer holds for Washington's NHL team.
In a press conference Thursday at the Kettler Iceplex, Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee, among other things, gave an update on the club's search for a new head coach. He also adressed the status of assistant coaches Dean Evanson and Jim Johnson.
McPhee said that the team has cut down the number of candidates for the head coach position, but that they won't make a decision before the 2012 NHL draft, which will begin on June 22. McPhee mentioned that NHL experience -- whether it's as a head coach or associate head coach -- isn't a requirement as they look to fill the position.
The Captials GM also commented on the futures of Evanson and Johnson:
#Caps GMGM says "probably not" but also said he wasn't sure if Evason and Johnson would return— Sky Kerstein (@SkyKerstein) June 14, 2012
The Washington Capitals are still searching for a new head coach to replace Dale Hunter. Another former player was in the mix, according to TSN's Hockey Insider Darren Dreger. Former tough guy Craig Berube was said to be in the running at one point, but he is no longer a candidate for the job.
Berube voiced his interest in the coaching position last month, telling the media that he had not been contacted by the team at that time.
Berube played for Washington from 1993 through 1999, alongside former coach Dale Hunter. He retired in 2004, and began pursuing a coaching career. He has been an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers since 2007.
Dale Hunter resigned as the Capitals coach on May 14, citing a decision to spend more time with his family.
Former Washington Capitals enforcer and current Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach Craig Berube is interested in taking over behind the bench of the Capitals according to a report by CSNWashington.com's Capitals insider Chuck Gormley. However, Berube has acknowledged that no one from the Capitals have contacted him about the job.
Any time you get an opportunity to be a head coach, you're interested. My situation is good here. No one has contacted me about it. We'll see what happens
Berube played for the Capitals from 1993-99 along with former coach Dale Hunter. After retiring from playing after 2004, Berube went into coaching as an assistant of the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms. In 2006, Berube was elevated to head coach, but when an assistant's job was made available with the Flyers, Berube hopped on that opportunity. In 2007, Berube took over for the Phantoms and compiled a record of 46-27-7 in his only full season as a head coach.
A new coach, a cap crunch, and an uncertain CBA future are what face George McPhee this summer. He'll have to be at his best.
Monday was breakdown day at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the last day for the Washington Capitals to gather as a team before heading their separate ways for the summer. Some players, like Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom, will head to Finland and Sweden for the elimination rounds of the 2012 IIHF World Championships; while others will head to their hometowns for some rest and recreation.
But banal breakdown day was overtaken by real events Monday, when the Capitals announced that Dale Hunter would be stepping down from his duties as head coach. The reaction of various players is below.
#Caps Chimera "it's disappointing" on Hunter not coming back— Sky Kerstein (@SkyKerstein) May 14, 2012
#Caps Backstrom on Hunter not returning "It kind of sucks"— Sky Kerstein (@SkyKerstein) May 14, 2012
Nicklas Backstrom on Hunter stepping down: "I really wanted to see him back next year but unfortunately he’s not. It’s not good." #Caps— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) May 14, 2012
#Caps Hendricks on Hunter "He gave me that confidence"— Sky Kerstein (@SkyKerstein) May 14, 2012
And then there's Alexander Ovechkin, whose words will no doubt be the subject of much parsing.
"Family is always in the first position. It's his decision," Alex Ovechkin said. "It's his decision so we have to live with it."
Ovechkin admitted that personally it was "pretty hard" for him to adjust to Hunter's defensive system early on. but that he tried to shelve his expectations and do what was best for the team, even if that included playing less than 15 minutes in some playoff games.
"It doesn't matter if I like it or not, because he's my coach and I have to listen," Ovechkin said. "How he said, you have to be a plumber. So I was a plumber."
The Washington Capitals: never boring, at least not for long.
Former Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter told the media that he made the decision to resign as the club's head coach after a night's sleep and discussions with his family.
Hunter informed Capitals General Manager George McPhee of his decision to step down Monday morning, less than 48 hours after the Capitals lost to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
"It was a tough decision," Hunter said. "But it was the right one for me and my family ... I want to go back to the farm, the team [the OHL's London Knights], and the family."
The Knights are scheduled to begin round-robin play in the four-team Memorial Cup Friday night in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada.
During his 74 games as Washington's head coach, the Capitals became known as a defense-first team that relied on strong goaltending, physical defensive play, and self-sacrifice in making the playoffs.
"I'm proud of these guys for sacrificing and doing what it takes to win," said Hunter. "We came up a goal short [against the Rangers], but not for a lack of effort."
Hunter also appeared to slam the door on the possibility of a return to NHL coaching, saying simply, "I'm going home."
For more on the Washington Capitals, visit Japers Rink.
Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee announced Monday afternoon that Dale Hunter will not return as head coach of the Washington Capitals.
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