Bruce Boudreau Fired As Washington Capitals Coach; Dale Hunter Named Replacement

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 21: Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals talks to his team during a timeout against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Verizon Center on November 21, 2011 in Washington, DC. Washington won the game 4-3. This was Boudreau's 200th career victory. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals have fired head coach Bruce Boudreau. Dale Hunter, a team legend and one of the most successful coaches in OHL history, has been tabbed as his replacement.

Bruce Boudreau has been fired as coach of the Washington Capitals, and he's been replaced with another NHL coaching rookie in Dale Hunter. The news was announced by the team first thing Monday morning.

Boudreau leaves the Capitals with an absolutely stellar career as head coach with the team, something you don't see all that often. The regular season results during his tenure were some of the best in the history of the franchise, but his lasting legacy will be that he couldn't get the team over the hump in the postseason.

As the Capitals have entered a late-November/early-December swoon for the second year in a row, it became evident that a change could be coming. That's not the surprising part. The big shock is that general manager George McPhee decided to jump on board with yet another rookie head coach in Dale Hunter.

Hunter is a legend in the Capitals organization, but he's never coached an NHL game. He's had a ton of success as a coach in the Ontario Hockey League, and in 11 seasons has compiled a record of 451-189-23-24. But can he get the most out of a group of players that's proven over the last two seasons to be extremely talented, yet difficult to coach?

That's where the questions take us, and we'll begin to answer them on Tuesday night when Hunter makes his debut as coach against the St. Louis Blues.

For more reaction from fans of the Capitals, head over to Capitals blog Japers' Rink and SB Nation DC.

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