(photo by Brian Murphy)
Don’t look now, but the Washington Capitals are officially the NHL’s hottest team.
1. Adam Oates is like a good parent.
One of the best pieces of advice I received when I was about to become a first-time parent was to think back to when I was a child and replicate the things my parents did well and improve upon the areas that they weren’t so great in. It’s simple, but it’s been highly effective as I’ve tried to get the hang of this fatherhood thing without causing permanent damage to my son.
During Oates’ first season as a coach, he’s taken the same approach – thinking back to the best coaches he had the privilege of playing for during his career and mimicking what made them excel.
I’ll let this article, written by Katie Carrera of the Washington Post, explain:
Oates said his experience in 2002-03 playing for Anaheim under Mike Babcock, who is now the coach of the Detroit Red Wings, has helped shape his approach. Oates was 40, in the penultimate season of his 19-year playing career and didn’t get off to a great start.
Babcock, in his first year as a head coach, treated Oates with respect, even when he wasn’t happy with the center’s game. That left a lasting impression.
2. Adam Oates can relate to his players.
While he might be a first-time coach, Oates has instant credibility with his locker room because he’s “been there and done that.” For nearly two decades, he was one of the NHL’s elite players and that commands a certain level of respect.
And let’s not forget — when he holds a meeting with his players, Oates is the only Hall of Famer in the room. He’s achieved something that each and every one of them dreamed of when they were growing up and if there’s even a remote possibility that listening to him can help them get one step closer to that ultimate goal, then they’d be foolish not to use him to their advantage.