For many prospects at the Washington Capitals' annual Development Camp, it is their first opportunity to slip on a Caps uniform and perform in front of team brass. Yet, one of those higher-ups was also donning Caps red for the first time Monday.
In warmups and a baseball hat, Adam Oates stepped onto the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for his first practice as head coach and perhaps like some of the kids, he was admittedly nervous.
"It was fun," he said after camp concluded for the day. "It was a lot of fun. A little butterflies this morning, but once we got into it was just like old times."
After some initial jitters, Oates settled into his role as coach, working with nearly 50 prospects between two groups Monday and showing them video of what kind of systems he is looking to implement.
"We just showed a little bit of our system just to give them a touch of it," Oates said. "They're here, they're a little nervous, they want to show what they got. We don't want to overwhelm them with too much system right now, but we just touched on a little bit of it."
While he is currently working with Washington's future, he also has taken the time to reach out to the current Caps. Last week, forward Jay Beagle said that Oates had already spoken to him regarding some things he could work on this summer. Monday, Oates, who puts an emphasis on communication, said he has reached out to every member of the team and has watched "a lot" of video on his new players.
"I called everybody just to say hi and introduce myself," he said. "I didn't connect with everybody, but let them know that I'm around."
"You want to try and get ahead of the curve just a little bit so when I do meet them, I've watched them enough that I can talk to them right away."
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