Washington has finally settled on their new bench boss. It’s none other than former Bruin (and Red Wing, Blue, Capital, Flyer, Mighty Duck and Oiler) Adam Oates. The 49-year-old spent the last two seasons as the assistant coach of the New Jersey Devils. Prior to that, Oates was an assistant for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Last season the Capitals struggled under Bruce Boudreau starting the season 12-9-1. Boudreau was let go by the team and Dale Hunter was brought in to take over. The team under Hunter went 30-23-7 to finish the season 42-32-8. Oates is the fifth straight Capitals hire with zero games as an NHL head coach.
Renaud P Lavoie of RDS reported that Alex Ovechkin called Oates and was happy that Oates likes offense. Ovechkin also said: “It’s not blocking the shots and dump and chase anymore.” Perhaps a shot at Hunter, who throughout the season benched or rarely played Ovechkin in key situations. Something the superstar was not used to under Boudreau, who at times seemed to have no leash on Ovechkin at all.
Oates is coming off a season in which he helped the Devils reach the Stanley Cup final. It’s not been announced who Oates’ assistant coaches will be.
It could be an even bigger day as Oates could be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. More on that later!
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