Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Hire This Man

I'm sure many of my fellow Caps fans have concerned themselves with the issue of who will be the Caps new head coach.  In the past GMGM has gone with candidates that have relatively little experience coaching at the NHL level.  It's a tactic that has worked out well for McPhee--albeit with little success in the playoffs.  Personally, I don't think that the lack of playoff success has anything to do with the way the team has been coached.  The post-season is as much about luck as it is about talent and great coaching--one lucky bounce or a hot goalie (Halak) can mean the difference between moving on or teeing off.  That is why I think the Caps would be well served to look out side the existing talent pool of laid-off NHL coaches yet again.

There have been several such candidates floating around; such as Mike Haviland, former assistant coach of the Blackhawks, and Adam Oates, former Cap and current assistant coach of the Devils.  Neither has been a head coach at the NHL level and both men have advantages and disadvantages.  Haviland has a great history of coaching at the AHL level and was part of a Stanley Cup winning team with the Blackhawks; then there's Oates, who has gained experience as an assistant coach in Tampa Bay and had a run to the Finals as an assistant in New Jersey this season.  The Devils' unlikely run to the Cup Finals may have increased his chances, but that's not all he has going for him--his work with Kovalchuck gives him experience in turning around Russian superstars.

Despite the success that these two men have had, they are not who I would like to see behind the Caps' bench next season.  I'm calling for a man who, like Bruce (I still miss him), has absolutely no NHL coaching experience--even as an assistant.  I demand a man that has had success at every minor league level he has coached. I need the most interesting man in hockey!

Jon Cooper!

Jon Cooper pictured thinking of all the reasons he loves America
I have Coop-mania, and for good reason--the man has been amazing at every level he has coached.  He has won championships with teams at every level of juniors in the US.  He spent five seasons with the St. Louis Bandits of the NAHL, while there he guided the team to a 223-93-17 record and to two league championships in 2007 and 2008. He then went on to coach the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL.  Coop led the Gamblers to the single biggest turn around in league history--going from 32 points in 2008 to 82 points in his first season behind the bench.  Under Cooper, the Gamblers were regular season champs for both of his two years there and they were league champs in his final year there.

King Coopa went on to coach the Tampa Bay Lightening's AHL affiliate, The Norfolk Admirals, in 2010.  In his second season with the Ads the team set club records of 55 wins and 113 points, and Norfolk went on to win the Calder Cup over the Toronto Marlies.

Jon Cooper celebrating after Admirals Calder Cup victory

His amazing success at lower levels of competition aside, there is one other reason GMGM needs to hire Jon Cooper.  The Capitals have gone far too long without a coach that resembles Marty McFly.

Jon Cooper seen debating the morality of taking a sports almanac back to 1985 with Doc Brown.
Cooper would be an amazing fit for the Caps and he needs to be behind our bench next season.


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