The practice of promoting from within continues as the Bears name 08-09 assistant coach Mark French as the new head coach of the team.
I think for the most part this was the most likely scenario. The team says they were looking across the nation and talked to dozens of candidates but I would be surprised if the actual list ever contained more than 1-3 names with French's at the top.
Last season French coached the defense, penalty kill, and did much of the video work. This season he will probably take over the offense and the power play as the new assistant coach, Troy Mann, will take over the other duties.
Mann played alongside Woods on the team that Boudreau coached in the ECHL, the Mississippi Sea Wolves. He has spent the past few years coaching in the ECHL and says that he uses Bruce's system with those teams. Meaning that he is familiar with everything the Capitals do and will do.
I have no problem with the move. I think it is hard to gauge a coaches personality and proficiencies when they are assistants so it is not known yet what French will be like. Some people have said they fear an even more laid back coach but I actually disagree. He seems like a laid back guy but I bet when he is in charge and in the moment he can get pretty animated.
Either way the continuity is a tremendous plus for the team. The guys don't have to learn a new coach and a new system so they can all come in knowing exactly what they need to do.
- Developmental camp is ongoing and you can get regular updates at many of the Capitals links in the side bar but Capitals Kremlin inparticular is doing a terrific job.
- Anton Gustaffson says he wants to play in North America this season....could be a Bear? He won't go to juniors so its either Hershey or Washington and there are significant questions about his NHL readiness at this point.