Despite an impressive postseason run, Dale Hunter will not return as head coach of the Washington Capitals in the 2012-13 season.
The news was reported on Twitter by Capitals beat writer Katie Carrera of the Washington Post (@kcarrera) after the announcement was made by Capitals general manager George McPhee.
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.
---The Columbus Blue Jackets are sticking with Todd Richards.
Richards, who guided Columbus to an 18-21-2 record after taking over from Scott Arniel halfway through the 2011-12 season, is getting a new two-year deal to stay on as the Blue Jackets' head coach. It will be the second NHL head coaching job for Richards, who coached the Minnesota Wild for two seasons before joining the Columbus staff as an assistant in 2010.
---Virginia Commonwealth, which currently is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, will leave that conference to join the Atlantic 10 in 2013, CBSSports.com reported Monday.
An official announcement of VCU's move is expected Tuesday.
VCU joins Butler as new members of the Atlantic 10. Butler is leaving the Horizon League.
The Atlantic 10 had lost two schools to other conferences - Temple to the Big East and Charlotte to Conference USA.
---A battle of basketball royalty between North Carolina and Indiana will highlight the 2012 ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
The schedule for the 14th annual battle between the two conferences was announced on Monday, and the marquee matchup will see North Carolina take on Indiana at Assembly Hall in Bloomington on Tuesday, November 27. The battle between the Hoosiers and Tar Heels is one of six games between ACC and Big Ten schools that night, a group that also includes Maryland traveling to Northwestern, North Carolina State visiting Michigan, Minnesota traveling to Florida State, Iowa visiting Virginia Tech and Wake Forest hosting Nebraska.
The next night's schedule is highlighted by a game between Duke and Ohio State at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Other games scheduled for November 28 include Purdue at Clemson, Georgia Tech at Illinois, Michigan State at Miami, Boston College at Penn State and Virginia at Wisconsin.
---Police say they have called off the search for former NFL player Erik Affholter, who apparently is fine after being reported missing Sunday after failing to return from a hike, the Ventura County Star reported.