Choose Your Own Capitals Coach

For well over a month, the Washington Capitals have been without a head coach, and they don't seem to be in much of a rush to change that, even with the draft, and more importantly the start of free agency, fast-approaching. General Manager George McPhee has said that his coaching search might take until August, and noted recently that prior NHL experience isn't necessarily a prerequisite for the next Caps bench boss.

But what if you were the one making the decision? Would NHL experience matter? What about a track record of winning? How about offense- vs. defense-first? After the jump, we've got a handful of questions that may help you decide whom to hope GMGM picks as Dale Hunter's successor; McPhee may be taking a while to make up his mind, but you'll have your guy in just a few minutes...

Is it important that your candidate have prior experience on an NHL bench?
Yeah, it's important that he's been an NHL coach in some capacity (head or assistant) - that'll ensure that he's at least seen how coaching is done at the NHL level (and everything that goes along with it).
It's important that he's been an NHL head coach - I've had enough of these rookie head coaches.
It's important that he's been an NHL head coach, but I don't want a guy who's coached a ton in the League and whose message may be stale.
I want a guy who has a lot of experience as an NHL head coach and instantly commands the respect of the team because of it.
Actually, it's important that he's never coached in the NHL before, even as an assistant - I'm all-in on this "fresh voice" stuff.
Like George McPhee, prior experience on an NHL bench isn't important to me - I've got other priorities.

If it's important to you that he's been an NHL head coach before, is it important that that experience is recent?
Eh, anything post-lockout is cool with me.
The game's changing all the time - give me someone who's been an NHL head coach within the last three seasons.
It's not important when he got the experience, just that he's got it.
Not applicable.

If it's not important that he's been an NHL head coach, is it at least important that he have some head-coaching experience elsewhere?
Yeah, it's important that he's been a bench boss somewhere (NHL or elsewhere); I don't want a guy who's never been at the helm of a team before.
Nope, everyone's gotta get his first head coaching job somewhere, and if he's the right guy, I don't care if it's here or not.

Is it important that your candidate played in the NHL?
Yes - I want someone who can relate to the players and vice versa.
Nah, that's largely irrelevant.
I think it's important that he didn't play in the League - an outside perspective would be welcome.

Is it important that your candidate has won the Cup?
Yep - that's the goal, and I want someone who's seen what it takes to get there.
Yeah, and as a coach.
Yes, and as a head coach.
It'd be nice, but it's not really important.

Is it important that he's won championship(s) as a head coach, even if it's outside of the NHL?
Yes - I want a winner (but no lower than the AHL for his highest-level championship).
Yes - I want a winner (but no lower than the ECHL for his highest-level championship).
Yes - I want a winner (but no lower than the CHL for his highest-level championship).
Nope. I don't care whether or not he's won before, what matters is that he's hungry to win now.

If it's not important that he's won championship(s), is it at least important that he's won playoff series as a head coach at some level?
Yes, it's important that he's won a handful or more.
It's important that he's won at least one or two.
Nope, not important.

Are you looking for a coach who can be considered offensive- or defensive-minded (or at least has had more success, generally, on the offensive- or defensive-side of the puck)?
Offense, offense, offense.
Defense wins championships.
Balanced.

How important is it that your candidate has demonstrated an ability to coach-up a productive offense?
Important that he's consistently had pretty good offenses.
Important that he's had some big offensive years, even if the overall numbers are middling.
Important that he's generally stayed out of the offensive cellar, even if the big years haven't been there.
It's not terribly important to me.

How important is it that your candidate has demonstrated an ability to have a solid defense?
Important that he's consistently had pretty good defenses.
Important that he's had some big defensive years, even if the overall numbers are middling.
Important that he's generally stayed out of the defensive cellar, even if the big years haven't been there.
It's not terribly important to me.

Lastly, do you want someone who already has significant ties to the Capitals organization?
Actually, it'd be nice if he did - some established familiarity between the coach and the organization could be beneficial - but nothing too recent.
It'd be nice, especially if it's something recent and applicable.
Nope. The team needs someone who doesn't have any prior ties to the organizational culture in D.C.
Eh, it's not important one way or the other.

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