One year ago today, Adam Oates was informed he’d be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and was introduced as the new head coach of the Washington Capitals.
During that news conference at the Verizon Center, Oates talked about gaining the trust of his players, especially captain Alex Ovechkin.
One year later, Ovechkin has added a third Hart Trophy to his collection and Oates is a big reason, successfully moving the 27-year-old forward from the left side of the ice to the right, where he’s become far less predictable to opposing defensemen.
This week, Oates is in Newark with the Capitals pro and amateur scouts, providing his input when necessary. He says he never had that opportunity as an assistant coach in New Jersey, where general manager Lou Lamoriello orchestrated the draft without his coaching staff.
Oates said he was excited to be involved in the process with the Capitals.
“It’s different in hockey than some other sports like football,” Capitals general manager George McPhee said when asked about Oates’ involvement. “The coaches aren’t that involved in this process.
“Adam will be there and he’ll be in the room the whole week talking about other things that might come up on the pro side of things. But with respect to the amateur draft, the coach is not that involved.”