NEWARK, NJ - MAY 29: Assistant coach Adam Oates of the New Jersey Devils watches from the bench during the media day skate at the AmeriHealth Pavilion the day prior to Game One of the Stanley Cup Final at Prudential Center on May 29, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Adam Oates Hired As Washington Capitals Head Coach

Adam Oates has been hired as the next head coach of the Washington Capitals. It's his first job as an NHL head coach. He played for the Caps from 1996 to 2002.

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Washington Capitals Confirm Hiring Of Adam Oates As Next Head Coach

Confirming earlier reports, the Washington Capitals have officially announced the hiring of Adam Oates as their head coach via a press release. The team will introduce Oates at a 3 p.m. ET Wednesday press conference at Verizon Center.

"We are very pleased to name Adam Oates as the new head coach of the Washington Capitals," said team general manager George McPhee. "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 played for the Capitals from 1996 to 2002, captaining the club as they advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998. They were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in that series, but it's the furthest the Caps have ever advanced in the postseason.

Oates was most recently the assistant coach of the New Jersey Devils under Pete DeBoer. He served the same role the year prior under head coaches John MacLean and Jacques Lemaire. He got his start in coaching as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Lightning before the 2009-10 season.

For more on the Capitals coaching saga, check in with our StoryStream. SB Nation DC and Japers' Rink have things covered from a local perspective.


Adam Oates Will Reportedly Be New Washington Capitals Head Coach

Adam Oates will be the next head coach of the Washington Capitals, according to reports from TSN and Sportsnet. The Capitals have not confirmed the news.

Most recently, Oates appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals as an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils. He was given credit for the remarkable turnaround seen by the Devils power play in 2011-12 -- a unit that went from near-league worst to middle-of-the-road in just one season. He does not have head coaching experience at any professional level, but has served as an assistant for both the Devils and Lightning. Oates played for the Capitals from 1996 to 2002.

It's believed that Oates beat out former Chicago assistant coach Mike Haviland and Jon Cooper, the head coach of the AHL's Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals, among others.

General manager George McPhee was expected to make a coaching decision this week as the team winds down from the NHL Draft and prepares for free agency. They've been without a coach -- really, without an entire coaching staff -- since Dale Hunter stepped down from the job on May 14. The Capitals legend was never comfortable after taking over in November 2011 for Bruce Boudreau and decided to return to coach the London Knights in the OHL.

For more on the Capitals coaching saga, check in with our StoryStream. SB Nation DC and Japers' Rink have things covered from a local perspective.


Dale Hunter Steps Down As Washington Capitals Head Coach

Dale Hunter has stepped down as head coach of the Washington Capitals, and it's believed he'll return to his old job behind the bench in of the OHL's London Knights.


Dale Hunter Leads Washington Capitals To Brink Of Another Upset

Dale Hunter's still the butt of jokes in the hockey world, but he deserves more credit than he's received for the Capitals' success in these playoffs.


Washington Capitals Coaching Change Firmly Shifts Responsibility To Players

Bruce Boudreau is out, Dale Hunter is in, but what happens if the Washington Capitals keep struggling from here on out? It's now clear that the burden has shifted.


Can Dale Hunter Fix What Ails The Washington Capitals?

Bruce Boudreau is fired in Washington, but will the change to Dale Hunter fix the Capitals? Or will there be more changes on the way?


Dale Hunter Hired To Replace Bruce Boudreau: Smart Move By Capitals?

Dale Hunter is suddenly back in the Washington Capitals organization Monday morning, and it's safe to say that the pressure is on for the new head coach of the team. The former Caps legend, one of just four members of the team to have their jersey number retired in the rafters, replaced Bruce Boudreau.

Hunter will make his debut behind the bench on Tuesday night against St. Louis, but he's already off and running Monday morning. He'll lead his first practice on Monday at 12 p.m. local time, one hour after an 11 a.m. press conference by general manager George McPhee.

To most NHL fans, Hunter might not be a name that seemed on the radar as a potential coaching replacement, but his track record in the Ontario Hockey League is really about as impressive as it can get. Hunter, along with brother Mark, purchased the London Knights in 2000, and the move ushered in one of the most impressive eras in OHL history.

With Dale behind the bench and Mark in the GM's chair, the team accomplished just about everything fans in London could ask: Six Midwest Division championships, two Western Conference championships, an OHL championship and a Memorial Cup. For four straight years from 2003-04 to 2006-07, the team finished with the best regular season record in the OHL.

Sounds a lot like the Washington Capitals in recent years, actually. Minus the whole playoff success thing.

That will be the ultimate question of Hunter's tenure in Washington. Can he duplicate the success he's had in the OHL with the Capitals? Boudreau only got so far in achieving those goals, and Hunter is tasked with a very clear one of his own: Postseason success. The chances of making that happen rest primarily on Hunter's ability to corral the egos and personalities that pull on those red and white sweaters every day.

Hunter coached the likes of John Tavares, Patrick Kane and Corey Perry during his time as head coach in London, so it's proven that he can coach star players and get success out of them. But let's not confuse star players in the Major Junior ranks with star players in the NHL. There's definitely the argument to be made that it's much easier to coach a future star in his formative years than it is to coach a guy like Alex Ovechkin or Alexander Semin as an NHL star.

If it's true that Boudreau did indeed "lose the team" and its star players as their coach, Hunter might be the perfect contrast. Boudreau made every attempt to be a tough coach as the team went through struggles recently, but in reality, he had already laid the groundwork as the affable, lovable kind of guy. He tried to employ a style that simply wasn't his own, and that's probably where the problems really started for Boudreau's Caps.

Hunter, on the other hand, coaches much like he played the game. Like him, his teams have been extremely skilled, yet lacking nothing in the hard-work department. Hunter is the only NHL player to ever put up 1,000 points and 3,000 penalty minutes in a career, and that goes a long way toward showing the personality he brings to the bench.

If he can get that out of his new team, maybe he'll be able to put together more consistent postseason success. That's what it's all about, and like Boudreau, that's how he'll ultimately be judged as head coach of the Washington Capitals.

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