Capitals GM Brian MacLellan provides early update on head coach search

Caps GM MacLellan provides early update on head coach search originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Capitals’ head coaching search is underway. Just under four weeks after they announced they had mutually parted ways with former bench boss Peter Laviolette, the front office has started to compile a list of candidates for the position.

Speaking with NBC Sports Washington’s Alexa Landestoy on Monday following the NHL Draft Lottery, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan explained where the team is at in the hiring process.

“We’re just beginning,” MacLellan said. “There’s a lot of teams still playing. There’s a lot of guys we want to talk to. So, we’ll monitor the playoffs, see what happens in the playoffs. We have targeted a few guys and we’ll bring them in. We’ll talk to them and then we’ll kind of go from there, make a plan from there.”

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Eight teams remain in the race for the Stanley Cup Finals with the second round underway. MacLellan expressed in his end-of-season press conference April 15 that he was more “open-minded” to hiring a first-time head coach after filling the position with the experienced Laviolette last time around.

The team is looking to instill a faster style of hockey with its next system; MacLellan hopes to infuse more young talent into the roster while keeping the team competitive around Alex Ovechkin as he chases Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record. The Capitals already shook up their staff of assistant coaches, cutting ties with Kevin McCarthy, who oversaw their defensemen, and power-play architect Blaine Forsythe.

With the Stanley Cup Finals tentatively scheduled to begin June 8, the Capitals may not be able to interview all their top candidates for at least another month. The new league year — and this summer’s free agency period — begins July 1.