Dale Hunter steps down as Capitals coach

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
Capitals coach Dale Hunter announced Monday that he won't return to the Washington bench next season. (Getty)

For the third time in less than a calendar year the Washington Capitals will have a different head coach.

The team announced on Monday that Dale Hunter has stepped down.

Hunter took over behind the Capitals bench in November, replacing Bruce Boudreau, and led the team to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals where they lost to the New YorkRangers on Saturday.

General manager George McPhee said "family reasons" were behind Hunter's decision for stepping down. Hunter will be returning to his previous job as head coach of the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights, the team that he owns.

The Capitals were 30-23-7 under Hunter during the regular season, a points percentage that was nearly identical to the one they had under Boudreau this year. His brief tenure with the team certainly had its fair share of questions, including his postseason usage of Alex Ovechkin and the passive, defense-first system the team used throughout the regular season and playoffs.

McPhee said there is no timetable for naming a new coach.

Hunter addressed the media after stepping down and mentioned how important returning to his family is.

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