The Washington Capitals are closing in on naming Spencer Carbery as their next head coach, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Tuesday morning.
Carbery, 41, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Previously, he was head coach of the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, the Capitals’ affiliate, from 2018 to 2021.
The Capitals are looking to fill the void left by Peter Laviolette, who coached the team from 2020-2023, since parting ways with the organization on April 14.
Carbery will be responsible for helping the Capitals return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after failing to qualify at the end of the 2022-23 regular season.
Laviolette guided the Capitals to a 35-37-10 record in his final year behind the bench in Washington. The Capitals finished sixth in the Metropolitan Division with 80 points and were eliminated from the playoffs relatively early in the race.
Carbery won the Louis AR Pieri Award as 2021 AHL Coach of the Year, shortly before leaving the Bears to join the Maple Leafs. He is also a John Brophy award winner from his time with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingers, with whom he began his professional coaching career after retiring as a player in 2010.
An NCAA Division III winger with St. Norbert College during his playing days, Carbery played for the Bakersfield Condors, Stockton Thunder, Fresno Falcons and South Carolina Stingrays before retiring with 181 games and 73 points at his asset in the ECHL.
Now Carbery looks set to become the 20th head coach in Capitals history, just five years after Barry Trotz – the 17th man to hold the job – helped the team win its first-ever Stanley Cup.