Had the Washington Capitals won Game 7 on Saturday night, Dale Hunter would be getting the team geared up to play the New Jersey Devils in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Finals. With less than 48 hours having elapsed since the team left Madison Square Garden with another second round exit from the playoffs, Dale Hunter has announced he will not be returning next season.

Joining the Capitals in November to replace Bruce Boudreau, Dale Hunter coached the team through 30 wins and as many losses in the regular season (7 of the losses in Over Time), and had the same .500 winning percentage in the playoffs this post season. His contract was just for one season, and the guy whose 32 is hanging in the rafters at Verizon Center has stated that it’s “the right thing to do” for him to return to his family and not continue on with the Capitals.

Dale Hunter is a co-owner of the London Knights, an Ontario-based hockey team which he runs with his brother Mark Hunter.

Washington Capitals GM George McPhee stated that the team “could have very easily won” the series against the Rangers and that he is “not in any rush” to select a replacement. On Dale Hunter’s performance behind the bench, McPhee gave a cloudy review that Hunter “got everything out of this team that he could”, which could be construed as something other than a glowing review.

Reports indicate that when McPhee received the news, he didn’t attempt to change Hunter’s mind.

(Quotes Source: USA Today)