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Oates and assistants depart AHL Hershey, return to Washington

Nov 22, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

Adam Oates AP

Things were crowded behind the Hersey Bears’ bench to start the AHL campaign — maybe a little too crowded — so moves have been made to free up some space.

On Wednesday, Washington GM George McPhee announced that Caps head coach Adam Oates and assistants Calle Johansson and Tim Hunter — who had been working with Hershey coaches Mark French and Troy Mann — were on their way back to the nation’s capital.

“The time is right for Adam and his coaching staff to return to Washington,” McPhee told the Caps’ website. “We feel like the coaching staff has developed some good chemistry. The goal all along was for our coaching staff to go to Hershey work closely with our prospects and implement our system.

“They spent ample time doing just that and we feel both organizations will benefit in the long run because of it.”

While it might’ve been a good learning experience for some, Hershey’s on-ice production suffered with so many cooks in the kitchen. The Bears are last in the AHL’s East Division with a 6-9-1 record — not great numbers from a team with Washington regulars Braden Holtby and Dmitry Orlov in the lineup alongside veteran AHLers in Garrett Stafford and Jeff Taffe.

Oates seemed to recognize it was a unique and potentially uncomfortable situation in Hershey, but appreciated what the Bears’ coaches allowed him and Johansson and Hunter to do during the lockout.

“With Frenchy and Troy, we all got to work together and talk hockey every day,” he explained. “We would see the same stuff and interpret it differently, and then come to a conclusion as to what it is. I think that was healthy for all of us, I really do. It’s healthy to talk hockey every day.

“They were gracious in the sense that it is their team and they allowed us to come down due to a unique situation and work together.”

  1. id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    “The goal all along was for our coaching staff to go to Hershey work closely with our prospects and implement our system.” Then why throw everybody behind the bench. Everyone knows a bird’s eye view is best to asses how well the players are learning your system. It was a mistake to crowd the back of the bench. Period!

    • ravenscaps48 - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      Because you obviously know more than an NHL General Manager

      • valoisvipers - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        id4joey as GM would surely be better than Mike Milbury and many others I’m sure.
        I’ll let some else toss Burkies name into the hat.

      • id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        ☺ thanks valoisvipers. What I do know for sure is, if I were the coach of the AHL team, thrn I would have told McPhee exactly how I felt about his proposition. It’s ok that everyone participates in the practices as long as the head coach of the team is running the practice. There has to be boundaries.

      • id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 4:07 PM

        valoisvipers, Speaking of bad GMs. Pierre Gauthier really did a number in Montreal. Yikes!

      • valoisvipers - Nov 23, 2012 at 10:06 AM

        @id4joey Yeah Gauthier sure was a trip but then again they have had many loser GM;s since the retirement of one of the greatest which was Sam Pollock. He left them set up with draft picks from expansion teams for years to follow and a well stocked farm team. They road this out victoriously while jokers like Ronald Cory would be all smiles and getting credit for the teams success mean while Rome(MTL) was burning and Nero(Cory) was fiddling. Now the Habs rival the Leafs for last place.

      • id4joey - Nov 23, 2012 at 8:45 PM

        There is no denying the greatness of Sam Pollock. However, the worst move he ever made, and, I literally blame him for the decision that cost the Canadiens big time. I mean. It screwed them over. He named his own replacement, which if you recall was Irving Grundman. What a disastrous move. At that time we had the next greatest mind in hockey behind the bench, and they could have promoted Scotty to the role of GM. I suppose they were politics involved for them not to promote Bowman, but, why the hell would you hire a bowling alley manager? Could you imagine the legacy Scotty would have left behind?

  2. id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Hershey’s on-ice production suffered with so many cooks in the kitchen. The Bears are last in the AHL’s East Division with a 6-9-1 record — not great numbers from a team with Washington regulars Braden Holtby and Dmitry Orlov in the lineup alongside veteran AHLers in Garrett Stafford and Jeff Taffe.

  3. ravenscaps48 - Nov 22, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    It wasn’t about the production of the Bears. It was about developing chemistry between the coaches.

  4. id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    What? Developing chemistry between the AHL coaches? Will McPhee invite the AHL coaches to develop their chemistry behind the bench in Washington? You develop the chemistry during training camp. In meetings. Not by hoarding your NHL and AHL coaches behind the same bench during games. I don’t buy it.

    • ravenscaps48 - Nov 22, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      No genius. Between the NHL Coaches! To see how they coach together.

      • id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 7:24 PM

        Still doesn’t make sense.

  5. t9tookey - Nov 22, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Oates and Company are gettin out of town before there is a full fledged revolt by the fans. Bear Nation wasn’t overly happy about having Oates here as a “co-coach” running everything yet French was the one that had to stand out in front of the media every night. French is well liked with all the success he’s had here in Hershey while Oates is the outsider. With the losing, the fans are putting the blame on Oates and it was ticking people off that he was running this team but not standing out there to answer questions. The team should be better off with just Frenchy and Mann instead the rotating cast of thousands.

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