Though the Washington Capitals remained without a head coach at the start of their annual development camp Tuesday, their AHL affiliate filled its head coaching vacancy.
The Hershey Bears announced the hiring of Spencer Carbery to replace Troy Mann, whose contract was not renewed after the Bears missed the playoffs last season. Carbery spent the past season as assistant coach for the AHL’s Providence Bruins. He previously coached in the ECHL and the Ontario Hockey League.
Usually the Bears’ head coach organizes the on-ice work at the development camp, but Carbery was not in attendance Tuesday. Instead the camp was conducted by a mix of Hershey Bears staffers, including assistant Reid Cashman; some coaches from the Capitals’ ECHL team in South Carolina; and a handful of coaching invitees.
The head coaching position in Washington remains vacant after Barry Trotz resigned last week. General Manager Brian MacLellan said associate coach Todd Reirden will be interviewed for the job this week. If that goes well, Washington will pursue Reirden as its next head coach, and MacLellan has acknowledged that it’s Reirden’s his job to lose. Reirden was at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday morning, watching drills from a perch overlooking the ice. Capitals assistant coach Blaine Forsythe joined him, as did several scouts and members of the front office.
Goaltending coach Scott Murray was on the ice helping with drills, and director of goaltending Mitch Korn roamed around the facility. Korn’s contract expires July 1, and with Trotz recently named the Islanders’ head coach, Korn could follow him to New York in the coming weeks. Assistant coach Lane Lambert, who’s been given permission to look for coaching opportunities elsewhere, was not visible at the Capitals’ practice rink on Tuesday. He’s also likely to join Trotz’s Islanders staff.
MacLellan has been busy, trading goaltender Philipp Grubauer and veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik on Friday night, then re-signing defenseman John Carlson to an eight-year, $64 million deal Sunday night, so it’s not surprising that a new head coach has yet to be named. The organization also had to extend qualifying offers to pending restricted free agents by Monday at 5 p.m., and the Capitals are still working to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Michal Kempny.
MacLellan and Reirden had some discussions Monday and are expected to have a formal interview this week. If all goes well, a head-coaching announcement could follow, perhaps while development camp is still going on.