Former Capitals coach Dale Hunter spoke his mind recently discussing his departure from Washington to return to work with his junior hockey team in London, Ontario.
As he tells Morris Dalla Costa of the London Free Press, while he’ll miss coaching at the pro level he won’t miss the daily rigors of being an NHL bench boss, namely in dealing with the media.
“Every day it’s a scrum. You have to answer every question. Basically I don’t feel like I have to go to media and criticize players if they are not playing up to snuff. I do it one-on-one. Some coaches use it as a tool. Personally, when I was playing I preferred if a coach said to me ‘you’re playing like crap. You aren’t going to play as much unless you get better.’
“I put a top-line guy on the fourth line, then I had to answer all the questions. I use it as a motivator for some guys and then it’s all blown out of proportion. But (the media) was alright.”
That top line guy was Alexander Semin, of course, and now neither Hunter nor Semin will be with the Capitals this year.
Hunter did say he’ll miss the pressure that comes with coaching an NHL team. He also again explained his reasons for keeping Alex Ovechkin’s minutes down as well saying,”he’s not a defensive guy.”
How the Capitals do with Adam Oates in charge this season will make for a fascinating story as it seemed most of Washington warmed up to Hunter after his team’s surprising playoff run.