The Washington Capitals are hiring Spencer Carbery as their head coach, the team announced on Tuesday. Carbery spent the 2022-23 season as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs after rising up through the minor leagues through the Capitals organization.
"It's a tremendous honor and privilege to be named the head coach of the Washington Capitals," Carbery said in a statement. "I would like to thank the Capitals organization for affording me the opportunity to lead this team. I look forward to working with this group of talented players and building upon the winning culture in place."
The Capitals parted ways with previous head coach Peter Laviolette following the 2022-23 season. The franchise missed the postseason for the first time since 2014. Laviolette's contract expired with Washington, so technically he wasn't fired. He's interviewed for multiple head coaching positions throughout the NHL this offseason since.
Carbery, 41, has made waves as a coach in the Capitals farm system. He served as the head coach of the Capitals' AHL affiliate Hershey Bears for three season and took them from a last-place team to the Calder Cup Playoffs. During the 2020-21 campaign, Carbery was named the AHL Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to a first-place finish.
In addition to his success in the AHL, Carbery also won ECHL Coach of the Year honors in 2014 during his time with the South Carolina Stingrays. During his time in the minor leagues, Carbery only had a team finish below .500 in one season.
Following the 2021-22 season, the Capitals expressed interest in keeping Carbery within the organization, but he accepted the assistant coach job with the Maple Leafs. Carbery was in charge of the Maple Leafs' power-play this past season and Toronto ended up thriving, as they converted 26% of their power-play opportunities -- good for second in the NHL behind the Edmonton Oilers.
Now Carbery will get the chance to coach the final years of star forward Alex Ovechkin in Washington. The Capitals dealt with quite a few injuries this past season, but are expected to be competitive in the Metropolitan Division once again in 2023-24.