According to a team release, the Washington Capitals have named Calle Johansson to occupy one of the two open assistant coaching positions on Adam Oates’ staff. Johansson, who has spent the last several years of his life broadcasting in his native Sweden, was also an assistant coach with Frolunda of the Elitserien in 2006-07 before leaving the post.
Johansson is the Capitals’ all-time leader in games played with 983, and played in over 1100 total NHL games with Washington, Buffalo, and Toronto while accumulating over 500 points. It is almost certain that Johansson will work with the defensemen, and I like the move a great deal. Having Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, and Mike Green under his tutelage will almost certainly bode well for the development of those players – especially because it will be without the pressure of a head coaching position.
This hire comes with relatively little suprise, as coach Adam Oates said at his press conference Saturday that it was “vital” to have a player who he played with on his coaching staff. Oates spent six seasons as Johansson’s teammate in the 1990s, including the Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in 1998. Johansson joins Oates and assosciate goaltending coach Olie Kolzig as players from that 1998 team currently on staff. For the second assistant, I would like to see a coach with some experience, a guy who has been behind an NHL bench in some capacity before. I think the Caps need some fire, as well.
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