NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The Washington Capitals, the National Hockey League affiliate of the South Carolina Stingrays, have introduced Spencer Carbery as the team’s head coach, becoming the youngest active coach in the NHL. The introductory press conference took place at District E in Washington D.C. on Thursday morning.
“It’s a tremendous honor and privilege to be named the head coach of the Washington Capitals,” said Carbery. “I would like to thank the Capitals organization for affording me the opportunity to lead this team. I look forward to working with this group of talented players and building upon the winning culture in place.”
Carbery’s professional hockey career began as a player where he played 63 games with the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL before appearing in 181 career ECHL games over the course of three seasons with the Bakersfield Condors, Stockton Thunder, Fresno Falcons, and the Stingrays. The native of Victoria, BC served as assistant captain for the Stingrays from 2008-2010 where he helped South Carolina capture the Kelly Cup in 2009. Carbery was honored as the Stingrays’ inaugural Jerry Zucker Community Service Award winner for his work in the Lowcountry community that same season. Carbery transitioned behind the bench following the 2009-10 campaign as an assistant coach for South Carolina under Cail MacLean.
Following the 2010-11 campaign, Carbery was promoted to the role of head coach and director of hockey operations for the Stingrays where he spent five seasons at the helm. Carbery compiled a record of 207-115-19-19 (.628 point percentage), leading the Stingrays to the Kelly Cup Playoffs in each of his five seasons. In total, Carbery guided South Carolina to two division titles, two Eastern Conference Finals appearances and a Kelly Cup Finals appearance in 2015. The Stingrays thrived under Carbery, posting five of the best seven defensive seasons in franchise history. In 2013-14, Carbery became the first Stingrays’ head coach to win the John Brophy Coach of The Year Award, given to the ECHL Coach of the Year, after leading South Carolina to their first division title since 2000-01.
Carbery becomes the second Stingrays head coach who advanced to become an NHL head coach, joining current head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, Jared Bednar (2007-2009). Carbery and Bednar are joined at the NHL-rank by former Stingrays’ head coaches MacLean, assistant coach with the Calgary Flames, and Ryan Warsofsky, assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks.
“We are proud of Spencer and excited about today’s news,” said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. “Spencer is one of the hardest working coaches I know and was always the first one to the rink and the last one to leave. He is a great communicator and someone players love to play for. Spencer is a proven winner at every level, a great leader, and expects the best from you every night. He will do a terrific job in Washington.”
Carbery, 41, becomes the 20th head coach in Capitals franchise history and returns to the organization after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs. With Toronto, Carbery was responsible for the team’s power play and oversaw the team’s forwards. Over two full seasons, Toronto converted on 26.6 percent of their power-play opportunities, the second-highest rate in the League during that span. In addition, Maple Leafs forwards ranked fourth in the NHL in goals (251) and points (589) during the 2022-23 season and second in goals (277) and third in points (652) in 2021-22.
Prior to joining Toronto, Carbery served as head coach of Washington’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hershey Bears, for three seasons from 2018 to 2021. Under Carbery, Hershey posted a combined record of 104-50-9-8, including an AHL-best 24-7-2-0 record in his final season behind the Bears’ bench in 2020-21. Carbery received the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2020-21 season, becoming one of four coaches to ever win coach of the year awards at both the AHL and ECHL levels.
In addition to his time with the Maple Leafs, Bears and Stingrays, Carbery served as head coach of the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2016-17 and was an assistant coach with the AHL’s Providence Bruins in 2017-18.
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