The Washington Capitals announced Tuesday that they have named Adam Oates Washington’s 16th head coach in club history. The 19 year NHL veteran gets his first head coaching opportunity following stints as an assistant head coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils.
Capitals’ fans remember Oates most vividly from his playing days in the nation’s capital. He played in 1,337 games during his 19 year NHL career with Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Edmonton and Anaheim. Oates ranks sixth all time in assists and 16th all-time in points in NHL history. Oates was a clutch performer in the postseason, compiling 156 points in 163 career NHL postseason games. He played in 387 games for Washington from 1996-2002, registering 363 points including 73 goals. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Oates outstanding career was he went undrafted. Oates then spent four years with R.P.I. of the NCAA prior to signing with the Detroit Red Wings in 1985.
Capitals’ Vice President and General Manager, George McPhee made a brief announcement on the hiring of Adam Oates. “We are very pleased to name Adam Oates as the new head coach of the Washington Capitals. 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.”
This hiring comes on a day where Adam Oates was also elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Almost an hour following the announcement, Oates was added to the Hockey Hall of Fame along with Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin and Pavel Bure.
According to TSN insider, Bob McKenzie Jon Cooper and Mike Haviland were close candidates for the job. Flyers’ assistant coach, Craig Berube was an early candidate but Washington decided not to go his direction.
The Washington Capitals will announce the hiring of new head coach, Adam Oates Wednesday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.