One of the head coaching candidates we mentioned to be the next bench boss of the Washington Capitals is officially interviewing with the team after his Tampa Bay Lightning fell in the first round in seven games to the Toronto Maple Leafs, making him available to interview with other teams. Meet Jeff Halpern.
This news was first reported by Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. The 47 year old spent seven seasons playing for the Capitals organization recording 91 goals and 139 assists for 230 points in 507 games. He was also the first player in franchise history to be a DMV native having grown up in Potomac, Maryland.
Oh and he also happened to have an assist on Alex Ovechkin’s first career NHL goal. Halpern attended Churchill High School growing up until he transferred due to them not having a hockey team. He continued his education at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire.
Halpern then played in the NCAA for Princeton University and then signed his first professional hockey contract with the Capitals after he went undrafted.
After parting ways with Peter Laviolette on April 14, the Capitals also parted ways with assistant coaches Blaine Forsythe and Kevin McCarthy. Scott Allen, Scott Murray, Emily Engel Natzke and Brett Leonhardt will return to the coaching staff ready to assist whoever the new guy in town is. It might be Halpern.
Halpern suited up in 976 career NHL games. In 2015 16 he joined the Tampa Bay Lightning as the team’s player development coach as well as working as an assistant coach for the Syracuse Crunch in 2016 for two seasons. Then he got a promotion to assistant with the Bolts and helped Jon Cooper lead his team to three straight Stanley Cup Finals appearances including back to back titles in 2020 and 2021.
Halpern actually was on the Caps twice in his career so in addition to Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom he also knows John Carlson too. He was on the Caps last in 2011 12.