By Sky Kerstein

The Washington Capitals today named former Capitals Captain and current New Jersey Devils assistant coach, Adam Oates, the new Head Coach of the Capitals.  Oates takes over for Dale Hunter who left following the season to head back to the OHL London Knights.

“We are very pleased to name Adam Oates as the new head coach of the Washington Capitals,” said Caps General Manager George McPhee in team’s press release. “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, 49, has been an NHL assistant coach for the past three seasons, first with the Tampa Bay Lightning and then the last two with the New Jersey Devils who lost to the LA Kings in the Stanley Cup.  Oates is also the fifth straight Capitals head coach to have no NHL head coach experience before coming to Washington.

Oates played parts of six seasons for the Washington Capitals and was on the 1997-1998 team that went to the Stanley Cup and were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.  Oates also was Captain of the Capitals from 1999-2001.   Oates has the most playoff career points for a player without winning a Stanley Cup.

Oates ended up with 341 goals and 1079 assists in 1337 NHL regular season games and is currently sixth all-time in assists.   Besides 1997-1998, Oates also played in the 2002-2003 Stanley Cup Finals losing to the New Jersey Devils in seven games.

Adam Oates will now take over a Capitals team that squeaked into the playoffs earning the seventh seed, beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in seven games in the first round and then fell to the New York Rangers in seven games in the second round.  The Rangers were then beaten by Oates’ New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Caps will officially introduce Adam Oates tomorrow at 3pm.

Oates was also elected to the NHL Hall of Fame today and will become the sixth former Capital to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Listen here to the full Adam Oates introductory press conference.


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