Sunday, September 24 2023

Beninati: Spencer Carbery hiring a ‘very big plus’ for Caps originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

When searching for a new head coach this summer, the Washington Capitals chose to go with a familiar face. Spencer Carbery, who spent over a decade in the Capitals’ organization as a player, assistant coach and head coach across the AHL and ECHL, has been given the reins in D.C. following a wealth of success as an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Having overseen the development of dozens of young prospects within the Caps’ pipeline, Carbery’s next challenge will be to lead a veteran-heavy NHL roster back to the postseason, which they missed this past year for the first time since 2014. Joe Beninati, longtime Capitals’ play-by-play broadcaster, thinks Carbery’s hiring was a slam dunk.

“This is a guy who’s very familiar within the hallways and within the chatrooms and on the phone lines with ownership and management. They know who this person is,” Beninati said of Carbery on Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday morning. “I think guys, as we speak, he was the most highly sought-after, young, up-and-coming coach in the carousel this summer.

“There were a number of jobs that were out there and open, a number of jobs I believe that Spencer was considered for and interviewed for – and for him to land in Washington, I think this is a very big plus for the organization.”

Arguably the biggest plus Carbery brings to the organization is the rapport he developed with the young guns within the Caps’ organization who figure to be the future of the team in the waning years of the Ovechkin era. A wealth of talent just waiting to explode at the NHL level has been boiling up within Washington’s minor league circuit for years now.

Carbery was at the center of that development as the head coach both with the AHL’s Hershey Bears and ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays, and Beninati was not short of names that have appeared in Capitals’ threads already thanks to Carbery’s influence.


“If I run these names by you – McMichael, Snively, Fehervary, Alexeyev, Protas, Johansen, Malenstyn – these are all guys that are on the verge of, and already are in some cases, on the roster here. Spencer’s had a hand in their development already,” Beninati said. “So he knows from an institutional depth standpoint what the Capitals have, and he’s had a direct influence upon it. So I think that that means a great deal to the organization.”

As it happens, all of the names Beninati listed as being a part of Carbery’s rap sheet – except for defensemen Martin Fehervary and Alex Alexeyev, who have earned full-time status on the Capitals’ blue line – are currently in the midst of a Calder Cup push with AHL Hershey. As it stands, the squad is one win away from advancing to the Cup Finals.

Though there’s a lot of work left to do for the new head coach and his team prior to the 2023-24 NHL season, there is already some good news on the home front.

Nicklas Backstrom, who has been hampered by injuries that limited him to just 86 games over the past two seasons, is looking spry again thanks to a full, healthy offseason. Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie, who dealt with injuries of their own this past campaign, also look to be entering the preseason at 100%.


It’s no easy task to lead an NHL squad back into postseason contention after an unsuccessful campaign. Carbery’s hiring, though, should give Capitals fans reason to hope.

“They’re giving this head coaching opportunity to a fresh thinker who will come in and make a quick, positive impact and impression on this room of veteran players and some of the development players,” Beninati said. “I think this is the kind of coach who can communicate with both sides and help you thread that needle.”

Source: Yahoo Sports


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