The Washington Capitals are looking for their next coach.
Last month the Washington Capitals interviewed Peter Laviolette for the head coaching job. Now General Manager Brian MacLellan can add Mike Babcock and Gerard Gallant to the candidates list after each one was interviewed.
A report came from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet with this news. All three coaches, whichever one MacLellan picks are all what he’s looking for in the next bench boss.
Babcock is probably the most interesting and controversial choice. His resume is good, don’t get me wrong. Babcock won 700 games, a Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings, and two Olympic gold medals for Team Canada. His last stop was Toronto where he was fired in November.
More from Capitals News
- Breaking down the Rookie Camp roster
- Hear what Magic Johnson said about Alex Ovechkin
- Capitals announce Rookie Camp schedule
- Breaking down the 2023-24 Capitals national TV schedule
- Capitals Alumni Weekend is coming back
After he got the pink slip, numerous stories came out about the way he coaches and it’s not good. Babcock was basically bullying his players. One example was when he made rookie Mitch Marner rank his teammates from the hardest working to the least and he had to share that list with his teammates.
There were other stories of player abuse and questionable leadership. Former Red Wings forward Johan Franzen even said, “He’s a terrible person, the worst I have ever met. He’s a bully who was attacking people… He would lay into people without any reason.”
Despite all the negativity surrounding Babcock, Friedman called him “a legitimate candidate for the position.”
Gallant has a 270-216-4-51 in nine years as an NHL head coach. He recently coached the Vegas Golden Knights and helped lead them to the Stanley Cup Final in their first year before falling to the Caps. He was fired from the Golden Knights in January which was a shocking move as they were still a very good team. Now their replacement coach Peter DeBoer led them to the conference finals.
Now the team has spoken to Laviolette, Babcock and Gallant. This sends a message to the rest of the league that MacLellan isn’t playing around. He’s pushing his poker chips to the center of the table, going all in on the final years of the team’s window.
Who do you think will be the next head coach of the Caps? Whoever they choose knows they have expectations to live up to and will inherit a solid group of players. Whoever the Caps pick, they’ll be ready to lead this team through the final years of the Ovechkin era with the same goal as every season: win the Stanley Cup.