Spencer Carbery’s Road To Washington Has Prepared Him Well For Capitals Head Coaching Job

Successful coaches in the NHL have their own unique philosophies and coaching styles that help lead to success. However, those tactics don’t develop immediately. Coaches start- out watching and analyzing their superiors on the bench. That is what Washington Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery has done time and time again throughout his now 14-year coaching career. 

 “Being able to see the game through a different lens, different organization, a different appreciation, maybe for a player or a style of play, and meet all of the people and pick their brains,” Carbery said on the Break the Ice podcast with Mike Vogel.

“That’s where I feel like I’m so blessed is I get to pick the brain of [former Providence Bruins head coach] Jay Leach, learn the way that he sees the game and talk to [Boston Bruins development coach] Jamie Langenbrunner about player development and who they draft and why they draft him and what they see.”

 The Alaska-Anchorage product has been familiar with the Capitals organization from the start of his coaching career. His first gig was with Washington’s ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays, back in the 2010-11 season. Carbery’s final two seasons as a player were with the Stingrays, so it was an easy fit.

 After serving as an assistant under South Carolina coach Cali MacLean, the Victoria, BC, native was promoted to the head coach and the director of hockey operations. He was at the helm for five seasons and won the Jon Brophy Award, which is awarded to the ECHL coach of the year, in 2013-14.

His knowledge of the game continued to grow as he went from team to team. He was particularly inspired by the way Kim Brandvold, the skills coach of the Boston Bruins, ran drills for defensemen.

“All those thousands of experiences you go through in a season and learn about the foundational things,” Carbery said. “Then I bring that to Hershey and that’s part of the identity of our group is part of what you grab from all these different spots.”

Carbery finally got his first crack at coaching in the NHL for the 2021-22 season after becoming the AHL’s coach of the year in 2020-21. He became the mastermind of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ power play for two seasons, and it was one of the most lethal units in the league. Under his guidance, the Maple Leafs had a top-2 power play. Though he will not be working directly on the Caps’ 5-on-4 unit, some of his tactics will be used when the season rolls around.

 “Some of the stuff that I took from here, some from here, some from here that I believe in. Some from Sheldon Keefe and the Toronto Maple Leafs in the way that they play, I think are great, innovative ideas and need to be part of my philosophy,” Carbery said. “All these little things that I learned along the way that now are in my tool belt will be part of the way that the Washington Capitals play this year.”

Carbery will be the youngest head coach in the NHL at 41-years-old. His ideas are formed around the modern game which is based on speed. Something the Capitals have been lacking for the past few seasons.

By Jacob Cheris

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
This entry was posted in News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Spencer Carbery’s Road To Washington Has Prepared Him Well For Capitals Head Coaching Job

  1. andrew777dc says:

    Pace, to be exact 😏

  2. Jon Sorensen says:

    Let “The Carburetor” era begin!

  3. DWGie26 says:

    Can’t wait to read some reports of camp. Was going to go down to Medstar today but too much going on and timing didn’t work.

  4. Anonymous says:

    GMBM’s missteps with the roster better not turn Carb into the scapegoat here.

    It’s clear we’ve got the right coach, but he can only do so much with current roster by the wrong GM. My expectations for Carb this season are rock bottom, given the sorry state of our roster. He will receive a pass on this season regardless of how bad the Caps are because it won’t really be his fault.

    But there’s a glimmer of hope – Kuzy’s back, and he’s motivated now that HCPL is someone else’s problem (sorry Rangers). Looking at the NHL right now there are teams that NEED to acquire or move players, GMBM should be working with them. If not we are going to see our rookies suffer the same fate as Siegenthaler. Siegenthaler is on the Devil’s now because the Capitals rushed his development, stunted his growth and gave up on him before realizing the diamond they had in their hands. If Jonas were still a Capital, he would be the best D-man on the roster.

    And about those ticket prices, they’re a joke for the sorry roster we’re stuck with, whether you’re watching at the arena or on TV. I’m taking a stand, a one-person protest until the necessary changes are made.

    Remember, the best way to back your team when the GM’s asleep at the wheel is to stop supporting the team and get vocal. Caps media relations, they’re watching blogs and sites like Nova Caps, you know. It’s time to make some noise and hold GMBM accountable or show him the door.

    We the fan base are the 6th player in front of the goalie, it is our responsibility to advocate for Ovie’s chance at another cup and the record when GMBM has made it clear that he is content coasting through this. Ovie deserves better and we deserve better.

    I imagine outside of what Ovie is required to say to reporters, Ovie is looking at this roster pretty discouraged. Is Ovie not worthy of fans holding GMBM accountable? Is it acceptable to have one of the most talented players ever step foot on the ice have a entire season wasted by an incompetent GM?

    If the rosters remains the same between now and opening night, it is on the fans for being to passive and not vocal enough online over the summer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right now, Cox Contour app will not let me watch the Caps if I am away from my home wifi, and Monumental’s app and site will not let me watch using my Cox credentials if I am away from Fairfax. So right now I may be doing an involuntary boycott of watching Caps games. I will NOT pay Disney for ESPN+. May have to be John Walton and radio. John’s good, but it isn’t the same as watching.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah for ESPN and HULU, I recommend getting a pirate hat. I won’t pay those trash companies to watch games. The NHL lost a lot more money in that deal than they are aware.

    • Anonymous says:

      Leonsis doesn’t give a fig about what fans think. Never has and never will. Your boycott is a waste of time, friend.

  5. novafyre says:

    That interview with Vogs is great, well worth the watch. Carbs has been a great student, and great students make great teachers.

Leave a Reply