Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan stated in his media availability earlier this week that the Capitals were close to naming a replacement for assistant coach Scott Arniel, who departed for Winnipeg earlier this off-season. MacLellan said they had narrowed their list of candidates, and would have an announcement regarding a replacement in the coming days.
So, in the meantime, we thought we’d compile our own dream wish list of candidates to fill the vacancy. Some may be a perfect fit while others would require a re-shuffling of coaching responsibilities in order to best support the team. One or two of the candidates are simply based in wanting to see the person (re)join the team in any capacity.
Brooks Orpik – Orpik was well respected by all players when he was playing for the Capitals, but most notably, the younger players, like Jakub Vrána, worshiped the Stanley Cup champion. His professionalism is contagious, all the way down to his crazy diet. He would be a great role model for the younger players (we will hopefully see, soon). Brooks seems to enjoy his current part time coaching role, coaching the Capitals prospect blueliners, so we’d like to see the Capitals talk him into a full-time gig.
Spencer Carbery – “Carbs” is a hot commodity in the NHL coaching community right now, as it was reported last night that he just interviewed for the San Jose head coaching position. He’s been a success everywhere he’s gone, including the Hershey Bears, and last year with the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he turned a 16th ranked power play into the league’s best. We let him get away, once. Let’s correct that blunder and get him back into the system.
Scott Stevens – The former Capitals defenseman was one of the best at his position. The Hall-of-Famer would be a solid assset in coaching the Capitals young blueliners, as well as help enhance the overall defensive system. His mental approach to the game and sound defensive techniques would be a huge upgrade to the Capitals defense.
Braden Holtby – Having Holts back in the fold will be our driving mantra until he indeed re-joins the team – in any capacity. If he were to coach, he could also assist with netminding coaching duties (for now) but the overall goal here would be to see Holtby become a permanent fixture with the team, possibly in the front office. It’s rumored that Holtby may retire from the game. He needs to sign with the Capitals the day after his official retirement announcement.
Adam Oates – This one is probably somewhat controversial, but Oates would be brought in to assist with the power play. Say what you will about his head coaching abilities, but he had the Capitals power play humming on all cylinders. Oates currently runs a hockey consulting business, so at least hire him for a few hours each month to fine-tune the Capitals often floundering power play.
Wendy Marco – The ace skating coach is often brought in by the Capitals to work on their skating and hockey agility skills. Players often seek out Wendy for personal one-on-one training, as Lars Eller did last season. Having Wendy on the bench full time, consistently working with the players, would be a huge benefit.
Mitch Korn – Again, another hire that would require a shuffling of responsibilities, but adding Korn’s netminding coaching prowess to the staff would be a great boost to the netminders on the teem. Now that Barry Trotz is away from hockey for a while, maybe we could talk Korn into returning for a year or two.
Again, the aforementioned list of candidates are a wish list, and not completely based in specific needs, or even reality, in some cases. It’s July.
More importantly, who would you like to see the Capitals add to the coaching staff?
By Jon Sorensen