The Washington Capitals have named Spencer Carbery their next head coach, the club announced Tuesday morning.
Carbery, 41, has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Prior to that, he served as the head coach of the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears — the Capitals’ affiliate — from 2018 to 2021.
The Capitals have been looking to fill the void left by Peter Laviolette, who coached the team from 2020 to 2023, since he parted ways with the organization on April 14.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the news of Carbery’s hiring on Twitter.
This will not come as a huge surprise to many, but hearing Washington is closing in on Spencer Carbery as its next head coach.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 30, 2023
Carbery will be tasked with helping the Capitals return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after they failed 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 playoff contention relatively early in the race.
Carbery won the Louis A. R. Pieri Award as AHL coach of the year in 2021, shortly before he left 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 upon his retirement as a player in 2010.
A Division III NCAA winger with St. Norbert College during his playing days, Carbery suited up for the Bakersfield Condors, Stockton Thunder, Fresno Falcons, and South Carolina Stingrays before retiring with 181 games and 73 points under his belt in the ECHL.
Carbery will become the 20th head coach in Capitals history, just five years after Barry Trotz — the 17th man to hold the job — helped guide the team to its first-ever Stanley Cup.