The Washington Capital obtained some coaching insurance yesterday when they hired 27-year-old Gary Green to guide the fortunes of their Hershey farm club in the American Hockey League.

Green led the Peterborought Petes to the Memorial Cup, symbolic of Canada's junior championship, and is widely regarded as one of the brightest young coaches in hockery.

"We consider him the best instructional coach available," said Roger Croier, the Capitals' assistant general manager. "Our young players should benefit greatly from his instructional knowledge, as well as his knowledge, period."

The Capitals have sole responsibility for supplying Hershey with playners next fall, after two years of sharing a working agreement with the Buffalo Sabres. As a result, they wre able to bring in their own man and can participate directly in decisions involving the players.

Green was offered the job a month ago, but chose to consider other options before taking over. He told The Washington Post during the Memorial Cup that he would prefer an NHL job, but doubted that such an opportunity would be available.

Washington Coach Danny Belisle has one year left on his contract and there is no question that the team must have a successful season for him to remain.Belisle recently chose to rent a home in this area, rather than buy one, "because I am a coach and the job tends to lack stability."