Despite an impressive postseason run, Dale Hunter will not return as head coach of the Washington Capitals in the 2012-13 season.
The 51-year-old Hunter, who played more 850 of his 1407 NHL regular-season games with the Capitals, took over for the fired Bruce Boudreau 22 games into the 2011-12 season. He guided the Capitals to a 30-23-7 record in 60 regular-season games, followed by an upset of the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. The Captials' season ended on Saturday night, when the New York Rangers won the decisive seventh game of the teams' Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Hunter is stepping down of his own accord to return to the London Knights, the junior franchise in the Ontario Hockey League that he co-owns with brother Mark. Mark Hunter - who played seven of his 628 NHL games with the Capitals - posted a 29-13 record with the Knights after taking over for his brother, guiding the Knights to the OHL title and a spot in the Memorial Cup alongside the QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs, the WHL champion Edmonton Oil Kings and the host Shawnigan Cataractes.