Oates key to Capitals' future growth
For as much discussion and dissection as there was this season on Adam Oates' new system in Washington, that's not his biggest focus as a coach moving forward.
Rather, it's trying to figure out a way to keep the players listening to him. To figure out a way to keep that balance between them liking him as a person they deal with on a daily basis while offering something that reminds them he's there to make them better players. Because once players start shutting out a coach, opportunity for growth is over.
"I want to figure out ways I can keep guys fresh so they don't get sick of me," he said during a Monday morning phone conversation. "The life expectancy for a coach is not a long time."
So, the open lines of communication are crucial for Oates and his players. And it doesn't end when the season does.
On Monday, he was exchanging texts with captain Alex Ovechkin when Ovechkin asked him who he thought was going to win the Stanley Cup.
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