|Oates, above, was the clear cut favorite for the job. (Photo: fannation.com)|
The other two men that were believed to be in the running for the job were Jon Cooper and Mike Haviland.
Oates, a stellar hockey player in his day, played for 22 seasons in the NHL before retiring in 2004. He played for seven different teams including the Red Wings, Blues, Bruins, Capitals, Flyers, Ducks and Oilers. He spent six seasons with Washington and even made it to a Stanley Cup Final with the Capitals.
He was a five time All-Star and is sixth all-time in assists with 1,079. He has played in over 1,300 games and scored 341 goals and 1,420 points.
Prior to coming to Washington, Oates was an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils.
Oates is by far the better choice to be the next Washington Capitals head coach. He has many years of experience playing in the league and has even spent time with the Capitals organization in the 1990s. He knows what D.C. is all about and he knows the kind of mentality that is expected from a D.C. sports franchise.
Oates has also been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice in his career. He made it there in 1998 with the Capitals and in 2003 with the Ducks. Both times, however, the opposing team ended up hoisting the cup.
That could work into the advantage of the Capitals. Oates knows what it takes to make it to a Stanley Cup Final. Since he has never won, he is just as hungry as the rest of the Capitals roster to get there again and bring home the Cup.
Oates has also been getting his licks in up in Chicago. He has spent the past three seasons there as an assistant coach so he knows what it is like leading an NHL team.
The Capitals definitely got this one right. They chose a quality coach, with a solid coaching background, and a guy that has grown up in the sport of hockey. He knows the city of Washington D.C. and knows what Capitals fans expect from their beloved franchise. Look for Oates to lead the Capitals to big things in the near future.