Capitals hire Maple Leafs assistant Spencer Carbery as new head coach

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman joins Jeff Marek to discuss the Capitals making Maple Leafs assistant coach Spencer Carbery their next head coach, and to discuss the latest in the rest of the markets looking to fill their coaching holes.

The Washington Capitals have hired former Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach Spencer Carbery as the team’s new head coach, the club announced Tuesday.

“We are extremely pleased to name Spencer as our new head coach,” said senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan via a team release. “Spencer is one of the best young coaches in the game who’s had success at every level at which he has coached. We feel his leadership, communication skills, ability to develop players and familiarity with our organization will be a tremendous asset as he makes this next step in his coaching career.”

“It’s a tremendous honour and privilege to be named the head coach of the Washington Capitals,” said Carbery via a team release. “I would like to thank the Capitals organization for affording me the opportunity to lead this team. I look forward to working with this group of talented players and building upon the winning culture in place. I would also like to thank the Toronto Maple Leafs organization for all their support over the past two years and wish them all the best in the future.”

Carbery, 41, has worked for the Capitals organization in the ECHL as a head coach for South Carolina and in the AHL as a head coach for Hershey.

Carbery was Hershey’s head coach for three years before joining the Leafs as an assistant in 2021-22.

The Victoria native also spent one year in the OHL as head coach of the Saginaw Spirit in 2016-17.

Washington mutually agreed to part ways with coach Peter Laviolette after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade.

Laviolette, 58, coached the Capitals for the past three seasons, making the playoffs in each of the first two to extend the organization’s postseason streak to eight years. They lost in the first round each time and have not won a series since hoisting the Stanley Cup in 2018 under Barry Trotz.

Washington went 220-115-78 in the regular season under Laviolette.

Carbery will be the eighth coach of Alex Ovechkin’s NHL career, and the 20th head coach in Capitals franchise history.

Ovechkin is 73 goals away from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s career record. He turns 38 in September and has three years remaining on his contract.

With files from Associated Press

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