Adam Oates said he felt a few butterflies when he stepped onto the ice Monday wearing his new Capitals warmups and baseball cap, but quickly settled into his role as a first-time head coach.
Once we got into it, it was just like old times, Oates said after the first day of the teams development camp.
Oates introduced himself to the camps 45 attendees, showed them some video clips of how he wants his teams to play and began on-ice workouts with the Caps top prospects.
As an undrafted center out of RPI, it was a chance Oates never had as a player.
It was something I would hope that when youre a young kid youre excited about coming into the building and seeing this is the home of the Caps, Oates said. Its a pro atmosphere Even the video session today theyre in a real theatre room. Its all pro here.
Oates said he has spent his first two weeks as coach of the Capitals reviewing a lot of game film and calling each of his players individually.
I called everybody to just say hi and introduce myself, he said. I didnt connect with everybody, but I let them know Im around.
As for his assistant coaches, Oates said he and general manager George McPhee have narrowed down a list of candidates. He said he did not ask former Devils assistant coach Larry Robinson if hed be interested in joining his staff.
Robinson, who served as a head coach of the Kings and Devils, was hired as an associate coach of the San Jose Sharks on Monday.
Im very happy for him, Oates said. Hes a great man Im sure hell help that program.