Adam Oates may get another crack at being a head coach in the NHL. According to a report on TSN, the former Capitals captain was expected to meet with the San Jose Sharks about their head coaching vacancy, which became available with the firing of Todd McLellan.
Oates, 52, went 65-48-17 in two seasons with the Capitals, reaching the playoffs in 2013 and missing the playoffs in 2014. He was hired along with Scott Stevens as co-coach of the New Jersey Devils last December.
Oates spoke with new Devils general manager Ray Shero about returning to New Jersey but has also been given permission to pursue other coaching opportunities.
“We've agreed to keep in touch, and same with Scott Stevens, in terms of I just need time to sort through and get this process under way,” Shero told The Bergen Record. “But, it was important for me to talk to those two first before anybody, No. 1, because they're here, they coached the team. That was important and that was the first thing. Then, from there, as I told them, it's going to take some time for me to go through this process. I don't know (how long) that's going to be, but they'll be in the loop.
“If someone is going in a different direction, then we'll we be in touch on both sides.”
Shero also has a history with Capitals assistant coach Todd Reirden, who was hired by the Caps last summer after working with Shero as an assistant coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Reirden and Wilkes-Barre Scranton head coach John Hynes may be considered candidates in New Jersey because of their ties to Shero. Shero said he would seek permission from other NHL teams before approaching any potential coaching candidates.
Reirden, 43, spent four years in Pittsburgh before taking the job under Barry Trotz last summer. He is credited for improving the Capitals’ blue line and enhancing the development of defensemen John Carlson, Karl Alzner and Mike Green.
A Capitals spokesman would neither confirm nor deny that the Capitals have been asked by another team permission to speak with Reirden.
Other former NHL head coaches believed to be considered by the Sharks are Peter DeBoer, Randy Carlyle and Dan Bylsma.