WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Adam Oates said it only took him a split to determine he wanted to be the next head coach of the Washington Capitals. In a way, it was fate.
He played for the Caps from 1996 – 2002, leading the NHL in assists on a pair of occasions and played a pivotal role in helping Washington reach the Stanley Cup Finals.
He took a piece of the nation’s capital with him when he bounced around the league to wrap up his career. The Verizon Center still had a soft spot in his heart while he was most recently coaching the New Jersey Devils.
So, when Dale Hunter announced he would not be returning to the team next season the thought of taking the reigns immediately crossed his mind.
“I played here the longest in my career, so you’re very sensitive about that,” Oates told LaVar Arrington and Danny Rouhier Wednesday afternoon on 106.7 The Fan. “I have some great memories.”
In the interview, Oates also touched on his excitement of being able to coach Alex Ovechkin. From the sound of things, he’s going to let Ovi do Ovi for the most part.
“I hope I can add some little things to his game,” he said, not wanting to make wholesale changes.