Washington Confirms Spencer Carbery Will Be Next Head Coach

Photo: The Score

The Washington Capitals announced on Tuesday morning that they have hired Toronto Maple Leafs assistant Spencer Carbery to be their next head coach. The two sides agreed to a four-year contract.

“We are extremely pleased to name Spencer as our new head coach,” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan. “Spencer is one of the best young coaches in the game who’s had success at every level at which he has coached. We feel his leadership, communication skills, ability to develop players and familiarity with our organization will be a tremendous asset as he makes this next step in his coaching career.”

“It’s a tremendous honor and privilege to be named the head coach of the Washington Capitals,” said Carbery. “I would like to thank the Capitals organization for affording me the opportunity to lead this team. I look forward to working with this group of talented players and building upon the winning culture in place. I would also like to thank the Toronto Maple Leafs organization for all their support over the past two years and wish them all the best in the future.”

Washington parted ways with head coach Peter Laviolette on April 14 after going 35-37-10 (.488 points percentage) t0 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.

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.

Washington wanted to keep him on before he was signed by Toronto.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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76 Responses to Washington Confirms Spencer Carbery Will Be Next Head Coach

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let’s go!

  3. Anonymous says:

    This was the right call. Now bring in Bruce as an assistant.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      You read my mind.

    • dwgie26 says:

      I don’t know about Bruce as an assistant. Fun for sure, but I’m not sure what value he brings. You also have to be careful about backstopping Carberry with too much “veteran staff”. I love Scott Allen who also came from Hershey but has been with the team a couple of years so he can help with transition and the veterans on the roster. I assume Carberry will continue with the Power Play and Allen with PK. But we still need another coach on the bench. Will be curious to see who that is. Maybe someone for face offs. 🙂

      • Rob says:

        Agreed this team absolutely needs to learn how to take faceoffs. I wonder what David Steckel is up to these days.

        • Anonymous says:

          Face offs are overrated.

        • GRin430 says:

          Dowd is solid. Backstrom was over 50% this year, and Strome isn’t terrible, though could be better, and he has had seasons over 50%. It’s Kuznetsov who is totally worthless in the dot.

          There are guys in Hershey who can win face-offs, though they don’t publish the stats, as far as I can find. But Sutter, McMichael and even Lapierre have been winning their fair share in the playoffs, so somebody in the system is teaching them…

          • dwgie26 says:

            Sutter has been visible in the games i have watched both at the dot and defensive play. McMichael needs to play 3C next year. Carbery is most likely to unlock him. I like Lappy but he needs more consistency so he is a year away to me.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        The power play alone would benefit from Bruce. The Caps are drastically lacking NHL coaching experience right now.

        • Anonymous says:

          No doubt. Two total seasons of combined experience? That’s scary. They need to add some “experience” to the bench, somehow.

        • Anonymous says:

          If Carberry and Bruce mesh well together, Bruce would be a great addition as an assistant.

        • dwgie26 says:

          But so is Carbs. I just don’t think that is the right mix. Bruce has been around the vets who only come to him and that creates a divide. BB doesn’t like Carbs PP system which is modern. Bruce will want the spotlight. I just don’t love the combo (and I do love BB).

          That said, I do agree some veteran coaching is needed, but I prefer another NHL assistant that has mostly been an assistant. Make sure there is no mixed message about whose team this is. Could be Nelson but I think that may be too close as well. Maybe another AHL coach for a jump back to NHL.

    • redLitYogi says:

      I would love to see it. He can do the Hadid commercials and let SC have the Mercedes spots.

  4. Anonymous says:

    All hail, The Carbenator! The Carburetor!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m down. He’s got the right initials at least.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yet those two are two of the highest scoring PP players in the past ten years .. so they are. It all getting picked off !!

  7. hockeydruid says:

    Good but would have liked them to have shown more faith in him by giving him more than 4 years, but I understand. Now to ind assistants. As much as I like Bruce I’m not sure he is a great choice but he does bring experience and knowledge. Will be interesting to see who Spencer brings in and if he retains Allen.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m don’t know that any coach is getting more than 4 years. Is there a current example?

      • hockeydruid says:

        You have several fingers and obviously can read so look it up yourself. Also try thinking outside the box not just saying and doing what everyone else says and does. I guess you are a lemming and just follow the crown and have no independent thought. I will leave you with this thought: is it fair to give a first time coach a team of old, slow, high salaried players that have limited years on their contracts and also due to age are more injury prone and only give him1, yes 1 year to coach a team of HIS players in 2026/27? So you are going to grade him on his first 3 years of having to play with these players who missed over 400 games due to injury and only managed to win 35 games and finished tied with Detroit and above only 3 teams for the wild card spot and finished 3rd from the bottom in their division? You really think that is fair? The problems for this team started in 2018 when they signed Carlson to an 8 year deal, when they signed Oshie to an 8 year deal in 2017 not thinking of his age and size and possible injury time as he got older and wow the insane contract for Backy for 5 years (at age 32) for $46 mil knowing he had a bad hip. Not going to talk about Mantha, Panik, Sprong and others as trades are a 50/50 chance that they don’t work out; or the players that they traded away because they are bad at managing the cap (see above signings) such as Stephenson, Sinegelthaler, Burakovsky. Way to many picks or young players leave for older players with high salaries. This thing of “retooling” is a poor mans way of rebuilding and doing it this way will take maybe 6-8 years rather than just doinn a rebuild which should take the right HC and GM 3-5 years. .

        • Anonymous says:

          Please stop your nonsense. I hear Vegas is looking for fans.

          • hockeydruid says:

            Please just leave me alone as I dont like trolls!! You have nothing interesting to say or add to any conversation except be condescending. Who do you think you are, the almighty and the only one who can have an opinion? If you dont like my opinion then just stay in your mothers basement and leave me alone!!

            • James says:

              OK druid, come on. Give it a rest. 4 years is plenty of time to see if things are working out. Your rant against long term contracts (my rant, too!) also applies here. I wonder, though, how did the Bruins and Penguins get their aging stars to sign such cap-friendly contracts? How?

        • novafyre says:

          Bednar was signed to a 2 year deal, got a 1 year extension, then a 2 year extension, and is now on a 3 year deal. Cooper is on a 3 year extension. Brind’Amour is on a three year extension. Maurice is on a 3 year contract.

        • horn73 says:

          meathead from the start. Carlson contract is still average to good. He”s our best defenseman and has been for years. You pay attention to what happened after he was hurt? And if not, perhaps trust Lavy’s opinion and gm and just about everyone else…certainly over yours on how important he is to the team.

          Pretty much all Caps fans wanted Oshi re signed and only way to make it work in the cap, gm had to give extra years to guarantee the money it would take to keep him…Without him the Caps don’t win the cup.

          This isn’t a land of make-believe Druid, actually have to consider real life stuff when making these decisions…give a 1st time HC more than 4 years…you have lost your mind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you keep saying this? No coach is getting a long contract like you keep asking for. Especially a 1st time head coach. 4 years is generous.

  8. bill963 says:

    If the Bruce everyone is talking about is BB then I think Ovie would say no, didn’t they have a big falling out? Or was that just the whole locker room?

    • hockeydruid says:

      IF Ovie is running this team and making those decisions then why not just let him be a player-coach? I think what went wrong with Bruce and the Caps was he tried to hard to be one of the guys and wasn’t, he blurred the boundaries between coach and player and lost the team.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ovi wants to play on a contending team. There’s nothing wrong with that. You read more into it for some reason with your player-coach comments. Most teams have a star player they try to accommodate. Those players produce, put fans in the seats, generate revenue, etc. But it doesn’t mean they run the whole show.

        • hockeydruid says:

          If he wants to play on a contending team then he should ask to be traded. This will not be a viable team to actually contend for the Cup, by that, Mr Simpleton and follow what everyone else say, a team that can get first into the playoffs and then get past the first round; which this team has not done in 5 years. Ovie is called a “Coach killer” for a reason and its not a good reason.

  9. DC Scappeli says:

    I hope the PP improves!!! No more standing around like statues, please. I hope Carbery makes the PP more dynamic, a lot more movement, creating screens, moving the goalie side to side more. Get the D scrambling !

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Co-signing this as well. ☝️👍🤬

    • hockeydruid says:

      First thing to change is PP is to not have Ovie play 2 minutes. Rotate him in and out.

      • GRin430 says:

        Agree, but if Ovechkin is off the ice, who do they have, currently, to put on in his place?

        They need to add at least one real finisher to this lineup, otherwise they’ll just pass the puck no matter what the formation is.

        • hockeydruid says:

          You do not replace the shooting of a Ovie, it has to be a team effort. Maybe a Wilson unless you put him on the 1st line. Everyone else is on the first line. Maybe Brown if he is brought back or Mantha is he gets out of his funk or maybe Smith or maybe a youngster like Protas or Malenstyn or Borgstrom.

      • novafyre says:

        I want to see them use Ovi more as a decoy — draw the defenders towards him and open up more shooting from the others. If he moves around a bit rather than just standing still they are going to have to put eyes on him and be distracted. I am a fan of Phil Esposito who so often screams “Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!”

        • hockeydruid says:

          That is a great way to use him as although it is hard to stop his shot if you favor him or try playing 1 man on his laving 3 to cover the other 4 they have to shoot not look to pass back to Ovie; but remember it is the record that matters most not other players scoring on this team until he breaks it.

          • novafyre says:

            Ovi has stated, Ted has stated, and GMBM has stated that their goal is to win the Cup again before Ovi retires. I think (hope) that Carbs plans accordingly. If it isn’t all about Ovi shooting then teams will stop focusing on him and his opportunities will begin to open up. You’ve got to play with the other teams’ heads. Going into a game with everyone knowing that Ovi is our only shooter does not do that. Yes, he will still get goals because he is so good, but not enough. We have to vary it up. I think Ovi and the Caps are smart enough to know that.

            • hockeydruid says:

              Psychological warfare? “You’ve got to play with the other teams’ heads”, really that is what you have to do to win at this level? I seriously doubt that your strategy of “playing with their heads” is a strategy that any NHL coach or team uses because if it were then while they waste time trying to play with the heads of 31 other teams they all are playing with our heads!

    • dwgie26 says:

      Having Carbery come in really gets me excited about our NHL ready talent. I was one who didn’t think McMichael deserved to be in washington (but understood we needed him here even if on the bench). McMichael has looked really good since going to AHL and he is great in front of the net or playing below the goal and find someone in front. Our PP will certainly benefit from that. Protas can be a big net front presence and has great hands and eyes (but can’t score).

      • horn73 says:

        We need a like botton that is easy for people other than Jon : )

        Dead on dwgie

        • andrew777dc says:

          You can say that again. Mine almost never works. Endless loop of registration attempts which always goes back to square one.

          • dwgie26 says:

            Agree on easy Like button Horny and Andrew.

            While at it can we get rid of Annonymous. We still don’t know who you are so make up a name. That part is easy.

  10. novafyre says:

    Anyone knows what Beags is doing now? He appears to be retired although I cannot find it officially. I did find that he runs a ball hockey camp in the summer but don’t dinf other employment.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Been actually keeping a side-eye on him, and local news in his area to see if he officially announces retirement, which he has yet to do.

      • novafyre says:

        Interesting. I think he last played around April 16 2022. There were injury issues Spring 2021 and doubts that he would come back for the 22-23 season, so I just can’t imagine him playing again. However, Jagr has set a model . . .

  11. Brant says:

    Very happy this happened so fast. We have a lot to do with this squad during the offseason.

    For parody, let’s say that Arizona offers Halpern a HC position (with all of their uncertainties). Is there any chance you could see him taking an assistant job with us over that opportunity?

    • novafyre says:

      No. If he is going to be an assistant he would stay in Tampa. I don’t really see any of the names bandied about here as HC candidates coming on board as assistants. However, I could see Carbs raiding the Bears and Rays. Could bring someone with him from Toronto.

      • Anonymous says:

        Todd Nelson is a possibility. He’d add some additional experience.

        • dwgie26 says:

          I thought about that because he has NHL experience as well, but i am concerned that it just looks like a fail-safe. I want it to be clear Carbery is the man.

          Halpern’s next stop is a HC and has the same issues.

          I’d actually be OK with a semi grissled NHL assistant lifer. Someone who likes that role and has been around for a while and can read the room. I don’t know who that is, but that is the profile i like.

          • novafyre says:

            I think we need two new assistants, right? Most important criteria to me is for each to be well suited to a particular part of the program. No point in having 4 coaches all known for PP for example.

            • dwgie26 says:

              Yes, 4 total. We have a dee coach in Allen. Carbs is HC/pp. But there will likely be someone to run the PP with heavy input from Carbs. So this may be someone he handpicks. The fourth coach generally spots the opposition lines and this should be a veteran who has been around the league.

              • novafyre says:

                So we still need to assign faceoffs, PKs, development, what else?

                • horn73 says:

                  I believe Allen handled the penalty kill this past season. Not sure if he is a blue line coach as well.

                  Lavy’s guy handled the dmen the past 3 years.

  12. Prevent Defense says:

    GMBM did good. Short turnaround, Caps get the Carberator. On board the Carberator bandwagon we jump … may the young lad turn Caps into fearsome machine, gimme 2 Stanley Cups in next 3 years

    Ex-Cap Bruno just got hired in Nashville
    A wild day

  13. Dave says:

    Does anyone have any info on the type of defensive system he uses? Since he’s coming from Toronto I’m guessing it might be more familiar to Sandin, which could help him shore up some of his deficiencies.

  14. andrew777dc says:

    So we’re getting ourselves a Carberator (I don’t mind if he turns out to be a Capberator on an individual basis :)) and some Carbs. We need the energy! So buckle up, it looks like we’re in for a test drive of a to-be revamped vehicle! Good thing he’s hired fairly early into offseason, and how he does will depend very much on the roster changes to follow. Giddy up, old horse! (Mac, make it happen!)

    • andrew777dc says:

      Quick Carbs – does have a ring to it, don’t it? :))) I know it’s supposed to be smth not too good for your body (unless you’re just out of a game and need to fill up fast). But if we’re both quick and carbs, why not? 🙂

  15. Lance says:

    I’m glad Carbs is the coach. The Caps team is going through a big change. The old vets are fading away and the future is starting now. Ovie will go after Wayne Gretzky’s record for the most goals scored in the NHL………ever! That’s crazy.

    Wilson is still a force. Strome’s a decent 2C. McMichael will hopefully be a 2C. Miro could be a top 6 winger. Iorio looks like a top 4 RD. Suds could be a player. #8 overall could be a hell of a player—the best of the bunch.

    So I’m optimistic. We might miss the playoffs for the next 2 years or we might sneak in. We have to get younger.

    • dwgie26 says:

      Some of those pieces now like McMichael, Protas, and Alexyev. Some like Miro, 8th pick, Suzdalev, Lapierre, Chesley, Trineyev will be ready about a year before or after OV retires. I don’t think the Caps will suffer through years of sickness.

      • Dan Hornbaker says:

        Agreed, this team does not need and I don’t think will need a tear down. I’d love more top two lines prospects and top 2 defensive pair prospects, but despite rankings, the Caps have some nice talent not to far off and combine them with Strome, Milano, Wilson and then over next 4 years we add a top line player or two (CMM or LaPierre (one will be traded likely), Miro, Sudalev, Frank, Protas this years pick…). Clearly all won’t make it on top lines, but only likely need 2 to do so and add a free agent or trade for a guy – works all the time. Look at Vegas,

  16. Muskoka says:

    Exciting news for the Washington Capitals as they announce Spencer Carbery as their new head coach! With his proven success at every level and his ability to develop players, Carbery brings a fresh perspective to lead this talented team. Congratulations to Carbery on this well-deserved opportunity. We’re eager to see him build upon the winning culture and guide the Capitals to even greater heights.

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