Why the Capitals should hire Jeff Halpern to be their next coach

Jeff Halpern, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Halpern, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

After deciding to “mutually part ways” with Peter Laviolette, the Washington Capitals are now on the search for a new head coach and no better bench boss to coach the last ride of the core than Jeff Halpern.

Halpern is a local guy, a native of Potomac, Maryland. He grew up playing hockey here and was the first to represent his hometown Capitals. He was even a team captain at one point.

But before we talk about what he did when he played for the Capitals let’s talk about his coaching resume. He has spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning helping Jon Cooper coach the team to back to back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021.

The 46 year old has not only learned from one of the most respected coaches in the NHL but also shared the locker room as a player with Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson.

Halpern signed with the Caps on March 29, 1999 as an undrafted free agent. He had two stints with the Caps from 1999 to 2006 as well as the 2011-12 season.

His rookie season saw him score 18 goals and 11 assists for 29 points. The next year he had 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points. In seven seasons with the Caps he skated in 507 games and finished with 91 goals and 139 assists for 230 points.

He also spent time as a player with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, and Phoenix Coyotes. That’s 14 years in the NHL and 976 career games.

Halpern seems like a guy who already knows the team, is already a fan favorite, and knows what it takes to win after spending the last five seasons working under an established coach in Cooper.

More. Dmitry Orlov 2023 Capitals Report Card. light

Of course the Caps can’t really do anything until the Bolts are eliminated from the playoffs or win the Cup but he should certainly be the guy.