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Capitals closing in on assistant coach

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Capitals closing in on assistant coach

Now that the Capitals development camp is over and the amateur scouts have completed their evaluations, the clubs next order of business is hiring two assistant coaches for Adam Oates.

And its no menial task.

For me, it's vital who my assistants are going to be because it is my first job, Oates said on Saturday. I need someone to help me pass my messages along fast to a veteran team. To have a guy that played in the game that I've had some personal time with is very important to me.

According the general manager George McPhee, the Caps already have found one of those assistants and are expected to make their announcement in the coming days.

I think its a good fit for the club and I think were getting close to wrapping it up, McPhee said. Weve agreed, theyve agreed. We just have to iron out a few more things.

Ideally, Oates would like to have one assistant who can run the defensive rotation and another who can help him run the bench and assist in special teams play. The list of Oates former NHL teammates with coaching experience is extensive.

For a defensive coach, among his options are former teammates Rob Zettler, who recently worked as an assistant under Ron Wilson in Toronto; Phil Housley, who has served as head coach of the U.S. Under-18 team; Scott Stevens, who worked as a developmental coach with Oates in New Jersey; and Calle Johansson, an assistant coach in Sweden who has played more games in Washington than any other Capital.

For a bench coach, Oates options include Jeff Brown, a former NHL defenseman who is now head coach and general of the St. Louis Bandits of the NAHL; Tim Hunter, another Ron Wilson protg who worked with Zettler in Toronto; Peter Bondra, who has expressed interest in having a more active role with the Capitals; and Rick Tocchet, who worked with Oates in Tampa Bay when he was head coach of the Lightning.

Both coaching roles are significant, but moreso on defense, where Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Mike Green, Dmitry Orlov and Cam Schilling are at key stages of their development. With that in mind, convincing Stevens to leave New Jersey and return to the city in which his NHL career began would be quite an accomplishment.

If given the choice, who would be your choices for the Caps two assistants? Join the conversation below.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

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