Speculation is swirling, and a television report from a usually-in-the-know Nick Kypreos won’t do anything but fan the fires around the Washington Capitals.
On Rogers SportsNet’s “Hockey Central” program on Sunday night, the former Caps player and current analyst made reference to the possibility that Bruce Boudreau could be relieved of his coaching duties and replaced by former teammate Dale Hunter in the coming days.
After host Scott Morrison talks about the Caps and flips to Kypreos, he goes into his mention of the coaching situation and the possibility that Bruce Boudreau will be fired sooner rather than later.
“A lot of speculation something could happen in the next 24-48 hours,” Kypreos said. “The name being thrown out there is ex-Washington Capital, a centerman of mine, Dale Hunter.”
Reached via email, Caps spokesman Sergey Kocharov said it was “Not true. Just speculation.”
A message sent to Hunter was not immediately returned. A call placed to him was not answered.
Kypreos went on to say “the question is would he leave his junior program in London” in the middle of the season.
Kypreos and Hunter played three years together with the Caps. It’s uncertain whether Hunter, who is in his 11th season at the helm of the London Knights, wants to leave that post to come to Washington. He has been the owner and president for 12 years. Brother Mark Hunter is the general manager and son Dylan Hunter is an assistant coach.
Hunter told the London Free-Press on Sunday that he had not been contacted about an NHL job. But he told the paper he was not concerned about leaving the team in the wrong hands if such a situation arose.
“We have a strong organization here,” Hunter told the London Free-Press on Sunday. “I’m just one guy. There’s a lot of people here that make it work. We have Mark and [assistant GM Misha Donskov]. There’s a lot more people. We have a lot of help.”
Kypreos made it clear on the broadcast that Boudreau was still the coach.
“Definitely I think I would look into it. It takes experience to coach and I’ve been coaching for eight years here with the London Knights. Definitely have watched a lot of NHL games. It’s a great game and the NHL is the elite level.
“You’re one goal is always to – I never did it as a player, I came close once with the Caps – but to win a Stanley Cup would be awesome if you’re coaching or playing.”
Here’s the full transcript of the segment. For legal reasons, the video cannot be posted. Thanks to Rogers SportsNet for providing tape for transcribing purposes:
Darren Millard: Washington, the watch was on today but nothing’s happened regarding a change.
Scott Morrison: Well it was a complete day off, so nobody was at the rink and nobody there to discuss what the future may hold for that team. All we do know is that the owner has lost patience, the team has lost its last two games and not looked very good in either one – Friday 6-3 to the Rangers, last night 5-1 to the Buffalo Sabres. Bruce Boudreau says the team is lacking confidence. We all saw them go through a similar stretch last season on HBO, but I’m not sure what this one’s going to lead to. A lot of people thinking that maybe a coaching change is on the horizon.
Nick Kypreos: Yeah, a lot of speculation something could happen in the next 24-48 hours. The name being thrown out there is ex-Washington Capital, a centerman of mine, Dale Hunter. Question is whether he would leave his junior program in London, which off to a great start, in midseason to take this job.
Millard: He did coach today in the OHL game.
Kypreos: Yeah, and as late as about an hour, an hour-and-a-half we do know that Bruce Boudreau remains the head coach of the Washington Capitals.
The segment then turns to talk of Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall’s injury.
(Stick tap to Josh Rimer of Sirius XM for providing audio to The Washington Times of the “Hockey Central” Sources Say segment.)