- The Washington Times - Friday, September 17, 2004

Frank Provenzano, assistant general manager of the Washington Capitals, is leaving the club for “an indefinite leave of absence.”

Provenzano will get married next month and is planning to tour Europe with his wife for about six months, a team official said. A date for his return to the team is open-ended.

The official emphasized Provenzano’s departure was in no way associated with the labor dispute engulfing the NHL, nor was his departure a layoff. His duties will be assumed by general manager George McPhee.

Provenzano joined the Caps nearly eight years ago as an assistant to the general manager whose main responsibilities involved contract negotiations and salary arbitration.

Meanwhile, the Caps confirmed that Jay Leach, an assistant coach with the team last season, was being transferred to the farm club in Portland, Maine, for the duration of the lockout. Leach will assist coach Tim Army with the Pirates and rejoin Caps coach Glen Hanlon when the labor dispute is resolved.

That leaves the Caps with at least two coaching slots to fill when the lockout ends. An assistant coach must be found to replace Randy Carlyle with the Caps and another to take Leach’s place in Portland. Carlyle moved back to Winnipeg to be head coach of the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose.

In another move yesterday, the Caps hired Ray Payne to work with Larry Carriere scouting players in pro leagues. Payne was the chief pro scout in the San Jose organization for eight years and also has been an administrator and coach in college and junior hockey.

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