The Washington Capitals’ coaching staff is now set heading into the next season.
Kevin McCarthy has been hired as an assistant coach and will primarily work with Capitals defensemen.
The Washington Capitals have named Kevin McCarthy as an assistant coach
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 21, 2020
“Kevin has had a tremendous impact on my coaching career, and I’m extremely excited to have him join our coaching staff in Washington,” Laviolette said in a release. “Kevin is a high character individual who has an incredible amount of NHL experience and works relentlessly to make players better. We feel he will be a great addition to our team.”
McCarthy, 63, has been Laviolette’s right-hand man for most of Lavy’s career. He’s help lead three seperate teams to the Stanley Cup Final including Carolina (2002 and 2006), Philadelphia (2010), and Nashville in 2017. McCarthy’s last stop was in Nashville where he spent three seasons as an assistant coach and the last three as an associate coach. McCarthy was fired by the Preds in January along with Laviolette. McCarthy was in charge of Nashville’s power play, which struggled mightily towards the end of his tenure.
McCarthy was expected to retire over the offseason but reconsidered after Laviolette reached out to him. According to The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir, “he still loves to teach and he is all in.”
FWIW: McCarthy, 63, was thinking about retiring when first approached by the #Caps about teaming up with Laviolette, as I reported at the time. But he reconsidered, he still loves to teach and he is all in, I’m told.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) October 21, 2020
McCarthy also played three seasons with Hershey, won the Calder Cup in 1988, and was its head coach in 1989-90.
The @Capitals have hired Kevin McCarthy as an assistant coach. McCarthy played three seasons in Hershey, winning the Calder Cup in 1988. He worked as an assistant coach with the Bears in 1988-89, and was the club's head coach in 1989-90. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/Hog5Tgh1hZ
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) October 21, 2020
In the press release, the Capitals also announced that Scott Arniel (penalty kill), Blaine Forsythe (power play), and Scott Murray (goaltending) will return next year.
“I’m pleased to have them return to our staff,” Laviolette said. “They are all successful coaches, bring a significant amount of experience and recognize the attention to detail that creates the foundation for a successful team.”
More from the Capitals:
Capitals Name Kevin McCarthy Assistant Coach
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have named Kevin McCarthy as an assistant coach, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. McCarthy, who will primarily work with the Capitals’ defensemen, will join assistant coaches Scott Arniel, Blaine Forsythe and goaltending coach Scott Murray on head coach Peter Laviolette’s staff.
“Kevin has had a tremendous impact on my coaching career, and I’m extremely excited to have him join our coaching staff in Washington,” said Laviolette. “Kevin is a high character individual who has an incredible amount of NHL experience and works relentlessly to make players better. We feel he will be a great addition to our team.
“I also had an opportunity to meet with Scott Arniel, Blaine Forsythe and Scott Murray, and I’m pleased to have them return to our staff. They are all successful coaches, bring a significant amount of experience and recognize the attention to detail that creates the foundation for a successful team.”
McCarthy, 63, joins Washington after spending the previous six seasons with the Nashville Predators, the first three as an assistant coach and the last three as an associate coach. The Winnipeg native brings more than 30 years of professional coaching experience, which includes assistant positions with the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes, the Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville. McCarthy has coached three separate teams to the Stanley Cup Final (Carolina in 2002 and 2006, Philadelphia in 2010 and Nashville in 2017), winning in 2006 with Carolina. In addition to his NHL coaching experience, McCarthy served as Philadelphia’s director of player development from 1990 to 1992. McCarthy also has compiled a record of 186-153-47-14 in five seasons as a head coach in the American Hockey League, which includes the Hershey Bears (1989-90), the Springfield Falcons (1995-97) and the New Haven Beast (1997-99).
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, McCarthy appeared in 527 NHL games with Philadelphia (1977-79; 1985-87), the Vancouver Canucks (1978-84), and the Pittsburgh Penguins (1983-85), registering 258 points (67g, 191a) in 10 seasons. He was the captain of Vancouver from 1979-82 and was named a starter in the 1981 NHL All-Star Game. McCarthy was originally selected by Philadelphia in the first round, 17th overall, in the 1977 Amateur Draft. McCarthy and his wife, Rhonda, have three daughters: Melissa, Meaghan and Mallory, and three grandchildren: Cannon, Pryce and Chase.
Arniel, 58, is returning to the Capitals for his third season, continuing to work with the Capitals’ penalty kill. Arniel has more than 18 years of professional coaching experience, which includes serving as head coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2010-12. Under Arniel’s guidance, the Capitals penalty kill ranked sixth in the NHL in 2019-20 (82.6 percent), improving by 3.7 percent from 2018-19.
Forsythe, 44, returns for his 15th season with Washington and 12th as assistant coach and will continue to work with the Capitals’ power play. Over the last six seasons, the Capitals have converted on 22.2% of their power play opportunities to rank second in the NHL during that span.
Murray, 40, returns for his fourth season as the Capitals’ goaltending coach. Over the last three seasons, Capitals goaltenders have combined to record the third most wins (138) in the NHL. During the 2019-20 season, Murray worked with Braden Holtby and Ilya Samsonov. Holtby ranked eighth in the NHL in wins (25) and was named to the NHL All-Star Game for the fifth straight season. Samsonov posted a 16-6-2 record with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage and ranked second among NHL rookie goaltenders in wins.
Screenshot courtesy of the Predators/NHL
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