Having played in 1,337 games in the NHL, Oates has intimate knowledge of how a labor stoppage works and has a unique perspective that most don't have. He expressed a respect for both sides and stated that he understands that he will have to wait out the situation.
Oates was hired by the Capitals as the 16th head coach in franchise history on June 26, which was the same day that he was informed that he had been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Although he does not have a game as an NHL head coach under his belt, he served as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Lightning and was part of the coaching staff that led the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup Final last season.
He has spent some time during the lockout as a co-coach of the Capitals' American Hockey League affiliate club, the Hershey Bears.
Oates will be enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 12.