By Ben Raby
STE CATHERINES, ONTARIO Matt Hendricks served as a guest instructor last week at Bruce Boudreaus Golden Horseshoe Hockey School in Southern Ontario, fulfilling a commitment he had made to his former head coach nearly a year in advance.
But as Hendricks shared laughs and reminisced with Boudreau- who coached him both in Hershey and Washington- the Capitals forward also looked forward to working with the Caps newest bench boss, Adam Oates.
Im excited and Ive heard great things about him from a players standpoint, Hendricks told CSNWashington.com after an on-ice session with about 25 campers.
Former New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise told me this summer at a charity game in Minnesota that Oates was a lot of fun to work with Hes a knowledgeable hockey guy and hes always coming up with new things to throw at players that most coaches wouldnt even think to look for. He did a phenomenal job with New Jerseys power play and thats something we need to work on as well.
Hendricks, Jay Beagle and former Caps forward Keith Aucoin all saw their ice time and responsibilities shoot up considerably under head coach Dale Hunter last season, but Hendricks says hes eager to begin working with Oates.
His playing career was obviously outstanding, and his coaching career has been good too- he was with a good Tampa Bay team in 2009-10 and now hes with a New Jersey team that goes to the Stanley Cup Final so hes coming here, not with a whole lot of years, but hes been in a lot of places and seen a lot of things at the coaching level already.