Dale Hunter stepped down from being the Washington Capitals' coach after losing to the New York Ranger in seven games. Hunter got the Capitals to the second round of the playoffs in a season where team struggled to even make the postseason.
By stepping down as head coach, Hunter did the right thing for the Washington Capitals.
For several seasons, it has been obvious the Capitals are an offensively-focused team. The Capitals have Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom—the team’s biggest offensive threats under contract for a long time.
Dale Hunter is a defensive coach and it was clear that he wants to coach a defensive style, and that style was not a fit for the team he had.
In professional sports, having star athletes that draw fans into the arena is just as important as winning games. The Capitals have stars, but those stars are not the type of players Dale Hunter would like to have.
Nothing against Hunter or Washington, but they were both looking for different things.
Hunter told the press his decision was largely because of family reasons, and he wanted to be in Canada with his family. If Hunter wanted to be with his family, nobody can criticize him for that, but his decision also makes a lot of sense from a hockey standpoint.
Ovechkin and Backstrom are both going to make a lot of money for many years from the Capitals. It was obvious Hunter prefers a different style of player by the reduced ice time the offensive weapons saw during the playoffs.
Instead of paying the two stars a lot of money to sit on the bench, Hunter stepping down will help the team.
Hunter was a defensive coach trying to lead an offensive team.
During his short time with the Capitals, Hunter did a great job for the situation. Washington needs to find an offensive coach to fit their offensive team, and Dale Hunter stepping down will allow them to do that without heavy criticism this offseason.