By the end of this week, and possibly in the next day or two, general manager George McPhee will complete his six-week search and introduce the next coach of the Washington Capitals.
By all accounts, he has narrowed his field down to three candidates New Jersey Devils assistant coach Adam Oates, former Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Haviland and Norfolk Admirals head coach Jon Cooper.
Over the next few days, well profile each candidate, starting with
Adam Oates:Age: 49
Hometown: Weston, Ontario
Personal: Adam and his wife, Donna, reside in California during the off-season.
Coaching Resume: 2010-present: New Jersey Devils assistant coach; 2009-10 Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach.
Strengths: Oates is considered a strong communicator and is very well-liked and respected by the Devils players. He has served as an NHL assistant to four head coaches Rick Tocchet in Tampa Bay and John McLean, Jacques Lemaire and Peter DeBoer in New Jersey. Credited for improving the Devils power play from 29th in the NHL 14.0 percent last season to 14th this season 17.2 percent. Also improved the Lightnings power play from 17.8 percent 19th in NHL to 19.1 9th in his only season behind the bench. Worked tirelessly with Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk to help develop his overall game.
Weakneses: Oates has never been a head coach at any level and is the only one of the three candidates without head coaching experience.
NHL Playing Career: Retired as an active player on April 3, 2004 after compiling 341 goals and 1,079 assists for 1,420 points and 415 penalty minutes in 1,337 career games with Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim and Edmonton. Played in five NHL All-Star Games during his 19-season career and was named to the leagues Second All-Star Team in 1991. Reached the 100-point mark on four occasions including a career-high 142 in 1992-93. Ranks sixth all-time in assists, leading the NHL in 1992-93 (97), 2000-01 (69, tie) and 2001-02 (64). In 163 career playoff games, including two Stanley Cup Final appearances in 1998 with the Capitals and 2003 with the Ducks, recording 42 goals and 114 assists for 156 points and 66 penalty minutes. Played parts of six seasons with the Capitals from 1997-02, compiling 73 goals and 290 assists for 363 points in 387 games.
Other NHL Distinctions: Oldest player to lead the NHL in assists in a single season with 64 in 200102, at the age of 39. No player has accumulate more playoff points 156 without winning the Stanley Cup. Ranks sixth all-time in assists with 1,079.