Looks like the staff for the Washington Capitals read my article last week or maybe they just decided to pick the coach they think is qualified and is the right fit for the team. I assume it’s the latter of the two.
Either way, welcome to Washington D.C. Adam Oates!
Oates isn’t a new face on the Capital’s bench. “Oatsie,” his nickname as a player, is another Cap’s alumni who turned coach. Today not only marks Oates’s new promotion, but also the day he became an inductee of the Hockey Hall of Fame. This surely won’t be a day that Oates will forget.
He earned it; the induction and the new coaching position.
Last season, Oates was part of the New Jersey Devil’s postseason run where they fell two games short of a Stanley Cup triumph. Now Oates has a new goal; one that involves coaching the Capital’s to their first Stanley Cup win and his first as a coach. As a player, Oates was a playmaker who played smart hockey. He was one of the best assist-man in league history; sixth all-time.
As George McPhee stated after the hiring,
You want intelligent guys running the bench. A guy like Bill Belicheck in New England, he’s a bright guy, and you try to get the smartest guy in the room. And I just think, with Adam’s understanding of this game, his ability to articulate it, he can be that guy.
Now, we’ll have to see if that skill and leadership will make the same impact behind the bench.
Under Dale Hunter, the Caps played a more defensive style; one that didn’t sit well with captain Alexander Ovechkin. Now, Oates can bring back more of an offensive game that’ll hopefully rejuvenate the team and fulfill the needs of the Captain. You know the saying, “A happy wife. A happy life.” If you didn’t know, that also applies to Ovechkin. Ovechkin spoke with Oates after he heard the news and then he told The Canadian Press,
I just talked with him briefly and he seems a great person. I’m looking forward to work with him.”
Hallelujah! Ovechkin’s initial reaction is a great way to start things since we learned above that a happy Ovechkin results in a better team and satisfied fans. Cheers to a happy life!
Even before Oates walks into the locker room and starts the first practice, I’m certain that every player on the Caps has the same mentality as Ovechkin. They respect Oates and are honored to play for him. With the team having a new coach, already making new acquisitions and possibly saying “au revoir” to certain key players, it’s crucial that things start off with a trusting and positive mindset.
One thing that’s certain is that Oates’s experience playing and coaching for the East is beneficial for the Capitals. Oates spent most of his NHL playing career as well as coaching years on the East, so he knows the style of play and what to expect from most of the opposition. On paper, Oates surely has what it takes to help the Caps become more clutch come postseason. Time to wait and see if that registers where it matters the most; on the ice and in the postseason.
In Adam Oates we trust. Now, who’s with me?