The Washington Capitals’ head coaching search is now likely set to include a name that most in the franchise already know very well.
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting that he believes the Capitals have asked permission to interview Spencer Carbery for their open head coaching job.
Carbery, currently a Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach, was formerly the head coach of the Hershey Bears, the Caps’ AHL affiliate.
“Now that the Maple Leafs are out of the playoffs, there’s no question that teams will be reaching out about Toronto assistant coach Spencer Carbery, and I believe the Capitals, his old organization, have already sought permission to interview him for their vacant head coach position, although neither organization would confirm that Tuesday,” LeBrun writes.
The Capitals could officially request an interview with Carbery after the Maple Leafs were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. They fell in five games to the Florida Panthers after Nick Cousins scored a Radko Gudas aided overtime winner in the final matchup.
A reunion between Carbery and the Caps organization was first rumored back in late March by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan before Peter Laviolette came to a mutual agreement to leave the team.
“A few respondents said to monitor Carbery as an option for the Capitals should they make a change,” Kaplan wrote then. “Carbery is thought highly of in the Caps organization after three years leading its top minor league affiliate, the Hershey Bears.”
Carbery was in charge behind the bench of Hershey for three seasons. He amassed a 104-50-17 record with the Bears and had signed a multi-year extension with the team shortly before departing to take a role on Sheldon Keefe’s bench in Toronto. The now 41-year-old was the second-youngest coach in the AHL at the time of his hire.
Carbery ran a Maple Leafs power play this past season that finished ranked second in the entire NHL, operating at 26 percent effectiveness.
If he does indeed interview with the Caps, it will be the second NHL head-coaching job that he’s vied for after reportedly being interviewed to be the San Jose Sharks head coach in 2022 before former New York Rangers coach David Quinn eventually received that job.
LeBrun also broke the news earlier in May that the Caps plan to interview former team captain and current Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern for the vacancy. He interestingly adds that the team has already interviewed other candidates besides Halpern and Carbery.
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