The Washington Capitals are going with a familiar face behind the bench, as the club has hired Adam Oates as their new head coach.
Oates, a former Capital who was also chosen for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday, was an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils two years ago and helped guide the team to a Stanley Cup Final berth earlier this month. He was also an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2009-10 season.
"He's been certainly a credit to us here," Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told TSN. "He did an outstanding job for us. I wish him well. He's very communicative, very intelligent, he explains things very well. He has the resume behind him as a player and having the success he had - all the credentials are there for having the kind of respect players have for him."
Oates edged out former Chicago Blackhawks assistant Mike Haviland and Norfolk Admirals head coach Jon Cooper for the job.
"We are very pleased to name Adam as the new head coach of the Washington Capitals," said GM George McPhee in a statement. "Adam was a highly intelligent player in the NHL for 19 seasons. He has been an assistant coach in our conference for the past three seasons and is prepared to lead our club as head coach."
Oates retired in 2004 after tallying 1,420 points in 1,337 games with Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim, and Edmonton. He played in five NHL All-Star Games during his 19-season career and was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team in 1991.
Oates reached the 100-point mark on four occasions including a career-high 142 in 1992-93 while centering Cam Neely in Boston. Oates led the NHL in assists during the 1992-93 (97), 2000-01 (69, tie), and 2001-02 (64) seasons.
Oates had 42 goals and 114 assists for 156 points in 163 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He went to the Final twice, with Washington in 1998 and Anaheim in 2003, the latter year against the Devils.