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Brett Hull on Ovechkin: “He’s going to thrive under Oates”

Nov 13, 2012, 3:08 PM EDT

Hull Oates

If anybody knows the value of Adam Oates, it’s Brett Hull.

When Hull became the third man in NHL history to score 80-plus goals in a single season (86 in 1990-91) it was Oates, his Hall of Fame center, who often played setup man.

So no surprise that Hull’s predicted great things now that Oates is coaching one of the NHL’s premier snipers — Alex Ovechkin.

“It’s crazy,” Hull told the Washington Post. “He’s going to thrive under Oates. There’s just no question.

“When I played, Adam was my coach. He told me what we were going to do, when we were going to do it, how we were going to do it and it always worked.”

The Blues legend suggested that Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom could become a modern-day version of Hull and Oates, who combined for over 600 points in nearly three full seasons together.

Such production would be a welcome development in Washington, especially after Ovechkin’s offensive output shrunk to a career-low 65 points last season.

“To me, the number one thing in being a great coach is being able to understand great players,” Hull explained. “When you’re a great player, like Adam, and have played with great players you understand them.

Hull wasn’t the only benefactor of Oates’ presence. Joe Juneau scored a career-high 32 goals in Oates’ first year in Boston — Juneau would never score more than 19 in a single season — and upon moving to Washington, Oates helped Peter Bondra score a career-high 52 goals in 1997-98.

As such, Hull sounded almost giddy about the prospect of what Oates will do with the Great 8.

“Alex Ovechkin is going to be like a kid in a candy store,” he said.

  1. bigtganks - Nov 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    But wait, Ovi’s staying in Russia of course…

    • bcsteele - Nov 13, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      Exactly what I was gonna say…

  2. kantnockdahustle89 - Nov 13, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    The Blues had some great talent but to not sign your #1 center is pretty nuts. Especially when you compare him to Garth Butcher and Ron Sutter who they signed to deals.

    All this talk about the season is just sooo annoying when there isnt one. I wish I could see my new look Caps in action.

  3. islesjb - Nov 13, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    “You Make My Dreams Come True” is my favorite Hull and Oates song.

  4. bigoldorcafromvan - Nov 13, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Is Oates going to Russia and coach?.. Hope Ovie stays there.

  5. stakex - Nov 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Well at the very least Ovechkin pretty much has to be better under Oates then Hunter. I have a feeling Oates will actually let Ovechkin play offense from time ro time.

  6. id4joey - Nov 13, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Can Ovi play offense and lead at the same time like a captain should? Not! This guy is NOT a quality captain.

    • juzzi7 - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:10 AM

      Ever heard of “leading by example” ? If your captain scores a hattrick I don’t think the other guys will play soft afterwards

    • themajorleagueuser - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      I don’t think Alexander Ovechkin is the most qualified captain in that Capitals’ locker room, I think it should be Brooks Laich, that isn’t important. If Ovechkin can put up goals, then he is leading. For Alexander Ovechkin to do tremendous, he has to take what he has learned under Dale Hunter, take his natural offensive prowess, take that and combine it with what Adam Oates can teach him. Alex Ovechkin is a decent captain in terms of what juzzi7 said, he does lead by example.

  7. csilojohnson - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Hope he stays in Russia.

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