The Washington Capitals are still without a head coach after mutually parting ways with Peter Laviolette a month and a half ago and the next step of their process is expected to get going this week.
Hockey insider Elliotte Friedman reports on the 32 Thoughts Podcast that the Caps are supposed to bring current Tampa Bay Lightning assistant Jeff Halpern in for his interview at some point in the coming days. Friedman adds that the Caps’ search doesn’t appear close to an end yet but that could change based on the status of another popular candidate.
Washington, we kinda know the group there. I think Halpern was supposed to come in to Washington next week so unless that’s changed I’m not sure that they’re ready to [make a decision yet] unless the Carbery tour forces them to make a decision this week. We’ll see.
Spencer Carbery is a popular man around the league as multiple teams with head coaching vacancies have turned in his direction. Outside of the Capitals, both the New York Rangers and Anaheim Ducks have reportedly received permission to interview the former Hershey Bears bench boss.
That also does not include Carbery’s current employer, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who likely have a decision to make regarding their current head coach Sheldon Keefe once they hire a new general manager.
Before joining the Leafs, Carbery spent three seasons as the head coach of the Bears. He left the Capitals organization in 2021 to join Keefe’s staff, where he has run the team’s power play as an assistant coach. The Leafs’ man advantage ranked second in the league this regular season, behind only the Edmonton Oilers’ two-headed monster of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
If the Caps see him as “their guy”, they may need to jump the line and secure him before another team does.
Halpern, a Potomac, Maryland native and former Capitals captain, has been an assistant coach for the Lightning under Jon Cooper since the 2018-19 season. He coaches the team’s forwards. Unlike Carbery, he has no prior experience as a head coach.
Friedman did not have any additional notes on Philadelphia Flyers assistant Brad Shaw who is also a rumored candidate for the job. The same goes for current Hershey head coach Todd Nelson as he just helped lead the Bears to a 2-1 series lead in the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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