Photo: BVM Sports
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Washington Capitals are “closing in” on hiring Toronto Maple Leafs assistant Spencer Carbery to be their next head coach. The sides have agreed to a four-year contract.
Washington parted ways with head coach Peter Laviolette on April 14 after going 35-37-10 (.488 points percentage) to finish 12 points out of a postseason spot in the Eastern Conference in 2022-23. It was the first time in nine seasons where Washington failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This will not come as a huge surprise to many, but hearing Washington is closing in on Spencer Carbery as its next head coach.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 30, 2023
The team also reportedly interviewed Tampa Bay Lightning assistant Jeff Halpern and Philadelphia Flyers assistant Brad Shaw for the opening.
GM Brian MacLellan stated after the season that he is looking for a head coach who will give the youth an opportunity and fit in with the team’s veteran core.
Carbery was in charge of Toronto’s power play for the past two seasons. The unit ranked second in the NHL with a 26.6% efficiency over his tenure.
The 41-year-old spent three seasons with the Hershey Bears, Washington’s AHL affiliate, before taking a job on Toronto’s bench. He was named the 26th head coach in franchise history on June 26, 2018, and at the time of his hire, he was the second-youngest coach in the American Hockey League.
Carbery was primed for a move to Washington (as we wrote about here). He was named ECHL Coach of the Year (2014) and was named the AHL’s Most Outstanding coach for the 2020-21 season.
Carbery signed a three-year extension with Washington to remain Hershey’s head coach on April 22, 2021, before Toronto swooped in and hired him as an assistant two months later.
Named head coach of Hershey on June 26, 2018, Carbery led the club to a three-year record of 104-50-9-8, good for a .658 points percentage, including a 53-18-3-2 mark (111 points, .730) in their last 76 regular-season games.
According to ESPN, Carbery is still thought highly of in the Washington organization. Washington wanted to keep him on before he was signed by Toronto.
By Harrison Brown