Thursday afternoon, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan announced that the team will not be renewing the contracts of Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann, and assistant coach Ryan Murphy.
The Hershey Bears are coming off a season where they missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2013-14 season, and the 13th time in their 80-year history. The team endured a nine-game losing streak in the winter.
Mann, who was tasked with both fielding a winning team and developing the Capitals prospects, was particularly harsh with top prospect Jakub Vrana while he was still with the Bears.
Several prospects playing under Mann have failed to crack the Capitals roster, despite receiving two years of development while the Caps were the top team in the NHL. Nathan Walker, Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos and Jakub Vrana have either been scratched for several games, or sent back to Hershey. Chandler Stephenson has been the only prospect playing significant minutes — currently in the top six — since being called up.
“At this point, we feel a fresh approach and a change in leadership is needed in order for us to continue to develop our young players towards the next level and for success at the AHL level,” MacLellan said of the decision to not renew Mann’s contract.
Mann spent four years as head coach with the Bears, leading them to two Atlantic Division titles and a trip to the 2016 Calder Cup Finals. Mann also served as an assistant to the Bears from 2009-13.
Murphy was originally hired as a video coach for the Bears in 2014, and promoted to assistant coach the following season.
More from the Caps:
Washington Capitals senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today that the contracts of Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann and assistant coach Ryan Murphy will not be renewed.
“Troy is a dedicated and hard-working coach and we appreciate all he has done for the Hershey Bears,” said MacLellan. “At this point, we feel a fresh approach and a change in leadership is needed in order for us to continue to develop our young players towards the next level and for success at the AHL level. We also want to thank Ryan for his contributions to the Hershey Bears and wish him all the best.”
Mann, 48, spent four seasons as Hershey’s head coach, compiling a 162-102-22-18 record. He led the Bears to a pair of division titles, and a trip to the 2016 Calder Cup Finals. Mann, who was named the 25th coach in franchise history in July 2014, ranks sixth all-time among Hershey coaches in victories. Mann was an assistant coach for the Bears from 2009-2013, serving on Mark French’s staff during Hershey’s record-breaking 2010 Calder Cup championship season. Mann was also behind the bench for two AHL All-Star Classics (2010, 2011).
Murphy, 35, was with the Bears for all four of Mann’s seasons at the helm. Murphy started with the Hershey coaching staff by specializing in video development in 2014-15, and was promoted to a full-time assistant coach the following year.
“We’d like to thank Troy Mann and Ryan Murphy for their contributions to the Hershey Bears organization,” said Hershey vice president of hockey operations, Bryan Helmer. “While we are looking to move our hockey club forward, today is certainly an emotional day. I had the pleasure of working with both Troy and Ryan behind the bench for two seasons, and consider them to be great people. We wish both all the best in future endeavors.”
Headline photo: @TheHersheyBears
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