|Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on May 14, 2012 at 8:35 PM|
Well that didn't take long.
Two days after the Washington Capitals were eliminated in Game 7 by the New York Rangers, Dale Hunter has decided he will step down as head coach. The decision comes following speculation that Hunter would return to his family in London after it was reported that Hunter signed a one-year deal.
"I want to go back to the farm, the team, and the family," Hunter told reporters at the team's locker clean-out day.
Dale owns the London Knights (OHL) with his brother Mark, and the Knights are currently set to play in the Memorial Cup after winning the OHL title. It certainly was a long shot for Hunter to return as his family lives in London and he has practically built an OHL empire.
In his first year coaching the team, Hunter led the Capitals to a second-round appearance after many thought Washington wouldn't even make the playoffs as recently as mid-March. The former Caps captain completely changed the way Alex Ovechkin and co. play the game, and taught those players what it takes to win come crunch time.
A man like Dale Hunter cannot be replaced. He was able to reach the players in a way Bruce Boudreau could never achieve, and his personal playing experience played a vital part in the (relative) postseason success for the Capitals.
Now it's time to find the coach that will use a blend of both systems (Hunter and Boudreau) to take the next step in the long process of achieving a Stanley Cup. More to come from Capitals 101.
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