Former Caps player and head coach Adam Oates has joined Twitter. That’s Adam Oates, hall-of-famer and scorer of 341 goals and 1079 assists. That’s Adam Oates, current skills coach to NHL stars across North America. That’s Adam Oates, who was summarily fired as coach after one and a half seasons in Washington.
That guy is on Twitter now.
That tweet above is the only one in the feed that isn’t a retweet. The rest is promotional information and photos about Oates’ current gig: “skills guru” for hire with the company My Pro Hero.
— Accelerator Centre (@AC_Waterloo) March 16, 2016
Oates joins Bryan Trottier, Darren Veitch, Dennis Maruk, and others at the startup, which offers professional guidance — in person and remotely — for clubs and developing players.
From an article on the My Pro Hero website, which, by the way, viciously abuses blockquotes:
According to Hall of Famer & coach to the pros, Adam Oates, if you refuse to acknowledge that the game of ice hockey is evolving, then you probably won’t be around it at a high level for very long.
Oates was fired from that high level after coaching 130 regular-season games for the Washington Capitals.
”I’m innovative in terms of how I teach,” says Oates in the same article.
Those innovations might have been what made the Capitals’ 2013-14 penalty kill arguably the worst in modern NHL history. Another Oates innovation was putting Caps star Alex Ovechkin on the opposite wing and teaming him with Joey Crabb and Jay Beagle (at center). That innovation precipitated the worst 5v5 performance of Ovechkin’s career. Eric Fehr suffered a similar innovation, one that required him to use an unfamiliar stick by fiat. “It’s not ideal,” Fehr told RMNB, “but it’s the way it’s going to be for now.”
In an glowing piece about My Pro Hero for the Waterloo region’s Record, writer Brent Davis asks Oates what drew him to the company.
“It just made sense to me,” Oates says of the My Pro Hero concept. “For me personally, it’s another way for me to spread my gospel.”
Caps goalie Braden Holtby had a career-worst 91.5 save percentage while studying Oates’ gospel in 2014-15. Washington’s goalie coach at the time, Dave Prior, did not support the gospel of Oates, so he was fired.
In the season after Oates’ dismissal, Alex Ovechkin’s 5v5 possession improved from 48.9 to 53.9 percent. Braden Holtby’s 5v5 save percentage improved from 91.5 to 92.3 percent.
“We’re not trying to take away from what these kids’ (regular) coaches have taught them,” My Pro Hero founder and former Caps player Todd Bidner tells the Record. “We’re just adding another tool to the tool box.”
Adam Oates is that tool.
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