Dale Hunter will not return as head coach of the Washington Capitals, reports Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post.
Hunter met with Caps general manager George McPhee this morning to announce he was stepping down, El-Bashir reports. Hunter had been at the helm in Washington since Nov. 28, when he replaced the fired Bruce Boudreau mid-season.
"Dale and I met about 10 o’clock and he let me know that he will not be able to return as the coach," McPhee said. "He’s going to head back to London [Ontario]. I guess we’re all fathers and sons and husbands first before anything else, and if we have our priorities right in this life, family comes first. And Dale needs to go home."
Hunter was relatively successful in his short time as head coach, leading the Capitals to a first-round playoff upset of the Boston Bruins and a close seven-game series loss to the top-seeded New York Rangers in round two.
"I thought he did a great job of coming in and helping us out," McPhee said. "Trying to hire a coach in the middle of the season is a difficult process ... so to have Dale available to come in, even if on a temporary basis, was something we liked a lot." Hunter is expected to address the media in Washington today.