HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – Former Hershey Bears coach Spencer Carbery has been named head coach of the Washington Capitals, the National Hockey League affiliate of the Bears.
Carbery coached the Bears for three seasons from 2018 to 2021 with a total record of 104-50-9-8 for a .685-point percentage. In his final season with the Bears, he helped the team put up an AHL-best 24-7-2-0 record.
Washington’s senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan made the announcement on Tuesday morning.
“We are extremely pleased to name Spencer as our new head coach,” said MacLellan. “Spencer is one of the best young coaches in the game who’s had success at every level at which he has coached. We feel his leadership, communication skills, ability to develop players and familiarity with our organization will be a tremendous asset as he makes this next step in his coaching career.”
Carbery was awarded the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award for the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2020-21 season, the fifth coach in franchise history to earn the honor.
Carbery joins a lineage of three other former Hershey coaches who went on to become the head coach of the Capitals, including Gary Green (1979), Bryan Murray (1980-81), and Bruce Boudreau (2005-2007).
The Victoria, British Columbia native is the 20th head coach in the Capitals’ history as he replaces Peter Laviolette at the helm.
Carbery began coaching with the team he helped earn the 2009 Kelly Cup with as a player the South Carolina Stingrays, in 2010-11 as an assistant coach. From In 2011, Carberry was elevated to head coach of the Stingrays, Hershey’s ECHL affiliate, where he coached until 2016. Carberry led the Stingrays to the Kelly Cup Playoffs every season during his five-year tenure.
Overall, Carberry led South Carolina to two division titles, two Eastern Conference finals appearances and a Kelly Cup Finals appearance. The 2013-14 division title was the first in franchise history since the 2000-01 season. For the performance Carbery was awarded the John Brophy Coach of the Year Award, adding him to the list of just four coaches to ever win Coach of the Year awards in the AHL and ECHL.
More recently, Carbery has served the last two seasons as an assistant coach to the Toronto Maple Leafs leading the team’s power play and forwards.
In the 2021-22 season, his first as an assistant coach, the Leafs were first in the NHL for power play percentage (27.3). During his entire time with Toronto, the team earned the second-highest power play rate in the NHL for the span of Carbery’s tenure. The Maple Leafs forwards ranked fourth in the NHL for goals (251) and points (589) for the 2022-23 season.
During his time as a player, Carbery played 181 games at forward during three seasons in the ECHL with Bakersfield, Stockton, Fresno and South Carolina. Carbery also played 63 games in the CHL with Tulsa.
This will be Carbery’s first head coaching position in the NHL.