A look at Caps' coaching candidates

A look at Caps' coaching candidates
July 11, 2012, 4:19 pm
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Head coach Adam Oates and general manager George McPhee have a narrowed their list of potential assistant coaches down to a handful of candidates.

In the past two months the Caps have lost head coach Dale Hunter, who returned to his head coaching duties with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, assistant coach Dean Evason, who took the head coaching job of the AHL Milwaukee Admirals, and Jim Johnson, who was hired Tuesday as an assistant coach of the San Jose Sharks.

The Capitals are in need of an assistant coach who can run their defensive rotations, along with a coach who can assist Oates on special teams and managing the bench.

Here are a handful of candidates for the two vacancies:

Jeff BrownAge: 46
Current position: General manager and head coach, St. Louis Bandits, NAHL
Background: A former NHL defenseman who played for the seven NHL teams, including the Capitals in 1997-98, Brown was teammates with Oates in St. Louis and Washington and was considered one of the leagues most potent offensive defensemen, especially early in his career when he played with Oates. Brown was forced to retire from playing when he suffered a concussion during his only season with the Capitals. He has spent the past three seasons s coach and general manager of the Bandits. He led them to their third consecutive Robertson Cup Championship in 2008-09 season, as well as the NAHL South Division Championship for 2009-10.

Rob ZettlerAge: 44
Current position: Most recently, assistant coach, Toronto Maple Leafs
Background: Zettler played 14 seasons in the NHL for six different teams, closing his career with a three-year stint with the Caps. Zettler and Oates were teammates in those final three years of his career. Zettler went on to be an assistant coach under Ron Wilson in both San Jose and Toronto, spending parts of nine seasons behind an NHL bench. He was relieved of his coaching duties in Toronto when Randy Carlyle took over for Wilson last season.

Tim HunterAge: 51
Current position: Most recently, assistant coach, Toronto Maple Leafs
Background: A hard-hitting right wing, Hunter played 15 seasons in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Fames in 1989. He also played for the Nordiques, Canucks and Sharks and ranks eighth on the NHLs all-time penalty list with 3,142. Hunter served five seasons as an assistant coach of the Caps from 1997-2002. He spent the next six seasons as an assistant in San Jose and three more seasons in Toronto. Most of his assistant coaching duties have come under Wilson.

Peter Bondra
Age: 44
Current Position: Most recently, general manager, Slovak national team
Background: Bondra played 14 seasons with the Capitals and is the club's all-time leading goal scorer with 472. He played six seasons with Oates in Washington but has never coached in the NHL. A regular at most Caps home games, Bondra and his family live in Riva, Md.
Phil HousleyAge: 48
Current position: Head coach, Stillwater High School, Minnesota
Background: Housley played 21 seasons in the NHL, including two with the Capitals from 1996-98 when he was teammates with Oates and helped the Caps to the 1998 Cup Final. Housley played for nine different NHL teams and recorded 1,232 points, second-most by an American-born player, but never won a Stanley Cup.

Calle JohanssonAge: 45Current position: Assistant coach, Frolunda HC, Sweden
Background: Johansson played 17 seasons in the NHL and is the Caps all-time leader in games played with 983. After retiring in 2003, he began working as a color commentator in Sweden and remained in that position until 2006 when he was hired as an assistant coach of Frolunda.

Scott StevensAge: 48
Current position: Special assignment coach, New Jersey Devils
Background: Stevens started his Hall of Fame career in Washington, playing eight seasons with the Caps before signing with the St. Louis Blues and playing one season with Oates. Stevens played 13 of his 22 NHL seasons in New Jersey and captained the Devils to three Stanley Cups. He has spent the past four seasons as a special assignment coach for the Devils.