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Oates says working with Ovechkin was ‘easy’

Jun 13, 2013, 7:39 PM EST

Alex Ovechkin, Adam Oates AP

When Adam Oates was hired to be the new Washington Capitals head coach, one of the main concerns fans and others had was how he’d get along with superstar winger Alex Ovechkin.

After a possible MVP season, it would seem the two found common ground. When Oates was asked by Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com what it was like to coach Ovechkin, he said it was a virtual piece of cake.

“Easy. Easy. Yeah, easy. I have to go back to what I said to you when we first talked [after Oates was hired last summer]. You know what? As a player I wanted to be talked to and that’s what I wanted to be as a coach. So I talked to him. I talked to all the guys. When I talked to him, after a while it made sense and we got through some tough spots and then he was rocking and it was great.”

It might seem like talking is the easiest thing for a coach to do, but after going through the motions with Dale Hunter last season, communication was something he struggled with. Oates’ experience in helping big-time wingers score as a player is something that may have helped him get through to Ovechkin.

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