Adam Oates’ coaching staff is complete. The Washington Capitals have announced the hiring of Tim Hunter as the team’s final assistant coach for the 2012-13 season. This will be Hunter’s second time behind the Capitals’ bench; he spent five years as an assistant coach under Ron Wilson from 1997 to 2002. All the coaches are very familiar with Tim Hunter, as Hunter, 52, coached Oates, Johansson, and Kolzig during his previous stay in Washington.
An experienced hockey coach, Hunter was on the Capitals’ staff when they went to the Stanley Cup Final in 1998 and won the Southeast Division Title in 2000 and 2001. When Ron Wilson was fired in 2002, Tim Hunter followed him to San Jose where they coached the Sharks from mid-season 2002-03 to 2007-2008, winning two Pacific Division titles, making the Western Conference final in 2004 and winning a playoff round in every following season. Hunter also followed Wilson to Toronto and was an assistant coach for three seasons, from 2008-09 to 2010-11.
Hunter complements the other assistant coaches well. He brings the fiery personality that this staff lacked; as a player, Hunter was a hard-nosed winger who racked up 138 points and 3,146 penalty minutes (8th all-time) in 815 career NHL games. A Calgary native, Hunter was originally drafted by the Atlanta Flames in 1979 and made his debut after the team moved to Calgary in 1981. He also played for the Quebec Nordiques, Vancouver Canucks, and San Jose Sharks. Hunter does not lack for playoff experience, with 132 career playoff games (and 426 PIM, 8th all-time) and 3 Stanley Cup Final appearances. He also brings the only Stanley Cup ring to the coaching staff, which he won as a member of the 1989 Calgary Flames after losing in the 1986 Final. Capitals’ General Manager George McPhee is very familiar with Hunter, as this will be the third time they’ve worked together. McPhee was assistant general manager in Vancouver when Hunter was a part of the Canucks’ 1994 Stanley Cup Final run.
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