The Washington Capitals announced Monday morning that head coach Dale Hunter will not return to coach the team for the 2012-13 season, citing "family reasons." The news comes just two days after the Capitals season ended with a Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
FAN590 in Toronto reports that Hunter is expected to return to the London Knights, the Ontario Hockey League club he co-owns and had coached before taking a job with the Capitals earlier this season. He won't coach the Knights again this season, however.
Hunter, one of the most celebrated players in Capitals history, took over the coaching position in late Nov. after the team fired former bench boss Bruce Bourdreau. Hunter's coaching tenure with the Caps was tenuous as both fans and media alike questioned his ability to motivate the team. There were questions about his future following the playoff exit -- would taking the top-seeded Rangers to a Game 7 save his job? -- but now those questions are answered.
There wil be another coaching search this summer in the nation's capital.
For more on the departure of Dale Hunter from the Capitals and fan reaction to the news, check in with Japers' Rink.