When we first met with Adam Oates during the interview process for our head coaching position, he stressed that connecting with Alex Ovechkin and developing a strong and positive relationship with our best player was one of his highest priorities. Adam stressed to us that he wanted to implement a brand new system for the Caps. It would be basically the fourth system in three years that the team would have to learn and execute, and he wanted to move Alex from the left wing to the right wing as well.
Adam asked us for patience and was sure that Alex Ovechkin would embrace the challenges and changes needed for him to become a "best-in-the-world player" again, as well as help the team implement the new system as our captain. Adam is incredibly professional and positive as a coach; he thinks the best of his players and he was honest in his commitment to build a bond and a great relationship with our Captain.
As this article attests, Alex and Coach Oates have created a very strong bond, built on trust and communication. Alex was named MVP and the team performed well during the second half of the regular season.
There is a new system in place. The team can now draft and develop players who fit the system that Adam has installed. Alex is comfortable at right wing and the team can now move on to focus on perfecting the system, and playoff success.
I am hoping for continuity now in systems, and for the front office to be able to build around the system of play so we can improve and meet our ultimate goals. Check out more articles here, here, here and here.