Meet the new boss.
His name is Dean Evason.
Quick summary of his playing and coaching career up to this point: He made his NHL playing debut as a member of the Washington Capitals in the 83-84 season. After stays with Hartford, San Jose, and Dallas, he played his last NHL games as a Calgary Flame in the 95-96 season, before spending a few years playing in Europe. He was even a teammate of Ads GM Paul Fenton for some time.
For those of you that like guys who aren’t afraid to throw down…. here’s an oldie but a goodie.
The year after his playing career ended, he started coaching in the WHL. After stops in Kamloops, Vancouver, and Calgary (he coached Brodie Dupont there), he got his first NHL coaching gig with the team that originally drafted him — The Washington Capitals. In the 05-06 season, he was an assistant under Head Coach Glen Hanlon.
He’s been there in that role ever since.
His first year was the same as a guy named Alexander Ovechkin.
Seven years with the same team as an assistant? That was the 2nd longest assistant coach tenure with one team in the league….behind Peter Horachek in Nashville.
He was an assistant under three different head coaches in Washington. To be retained by new leadership I think says something about how valuable he was to the team. Bruce Boudreau could have cleaned house when he arrived, or during the following off-season. Dale Hunter could have cleaned house when he arrived. But Evason made himself essential.
Initially under consideration for the vacated coaching position in Washington, recent comments made by GM George McPhee made it sound like he wasn’t going to be a finalist. The case for Evason for that job? Familiarity. He’s paid his dues with the organization. The case against him? None of the last four Capital head coaches had previous NHL coaching experience. The last one was Ron Wilson in 01-02. Perhaps they’re looking to make that a pre-requisite.
Evason comes to Milwaukee with the experience of having coached some very different styles of hockey with the Caps over the last seven years, and it’ll be interesting to see whether the systems he will implement in Milwaukee will resemble any of the systems used in DC. Plus he brings previous experience of coaching youngsters, and coaching some…we’ll say….interesting personalities.
Personally, I’m excited to see what he’ll be able to do with his own pro squad. (Yes, I’m a Caps fan…and yes I’m trying my best not to let that cloud my judgement!). Press conference tomorrow morning to introduce the new boss….what’s the over/under on number of times the phrase “The Road To Nashville Goes Through Milwaukee” will be spoken?
In the meantime, here are some old Evason clippings for your reading/viewing pleasure: