Jun 12, 2013, 5:56 PM EST
It’s been about a month since Adam Oates’ rookie campaign as an NHL head coach ended with his Washington Capitals’ 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of their first-round series.
Not long after that, the Rangers were also eliminated and bench boss John Tortorella — who Oates apparently could “easily” take in a fight — was fired.
“Every coach has a shelf life,” Rangers GM Glen Sather explained.
Eventually a coach’s methods might get tiring or players will stop buying into his system. That’s something Oates wants to avoid.
“I’m constantly trying to think of ways to make sure the guys don’t get bored with me,” Oates told the Washington Post. “I want to coach for a long time. I want to coach these guys for a long time and it’s inevitable that it gets stagnant — I want to prevent that for as long as possible.”
For Oates, the question will be if he can turn this team into a genuine Stanley Cup contender. Alex Ovechkin will turn 28 in September and they still haven’t even made it past the second round with him.
Part of that was due to Ovechkin’s drop in production over the previous few years, but Oates oversaw Ovechkin’s rebound in the 2013 regular season. Whether or not Ovechkin is able to maintain that success — and then produce in the playoffs on top of that — will be a key factor in 2013-14.
- Neal admits kneeing Marchand was ‘not the smartest decision’ 40
- Leafs captain Phaneuf suspended two games for boarding 31
- Rangers confirm Staal suffered concussion 6
- Winnipeg to get outdoor game; Phoenix wants one 31
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 156
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 102
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 132
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 15
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 90
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (132)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (110)