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Goalie Coach Hired, It’s Dave Prior, Another Former Caps Coach

The flood of former George McPhee assistants continues in Las Vegas as now the Director of Goaltending and Goaltending Coach position has been given to Dave Prior.

Prior was let go from the Washington Capitals prior to the 2013-14 season. The head coach at the time, Adam Oates, did not see eye to eye on the style of goaltending Prior coached.

Adam did not agree with how I coach, both in my methods and the content of what I coached. My inflexibility was perceived as ignorance or stubbornness, but I perceive it as a much deeper knowledge of the position. . . . I have no regrets. I would do the same thing again because I stand up for what I believe in. –Dave Prior to the Washington Post in April 2014

During his time in Washington, Prior coached goalies Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov, and Olie Kolzig.

Dave Prior

Dave Prior

Olie the Goalie was recruited and eventually hired by Prior and the Capitals to be an assistant coach in 2011. He assumed the role of Head Goaltending Coach when Prior was let go, but only lasted one season before he was fired as well. Kolzig retweeted the news of Prior getting this job in Vegas, so it wouldn’t a shock if the former Vezina and Clancy Trophy winner finds himself a role here as well.

Another name that could end up reuniting with his former Goalie Coach is Philipp Grubauer. The 24-year-old goalie was drafted in 2010 in the 4th round by George McPhee and Dave Prior. He becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2016-17 season. He may not be the top choice for Las Vegas in net, but he’s certainly a familiar name to the men in charge to add depth to the most important position on the ice.

Prior promotes a very aggressive style of goaltending. Goalies who preemptively play the puck, take risks to cut down angles, play far out of the goal, and utilize the poke check are just a few of the traits of an aggressive style. Watch this guy play, and you’ll get a feel for what I mean.

While Prior fits the bill of being a former assistant to McPhee in Washington, he also comes with a very good track record and a ton of experience. If he and McPhee can find the next Olaf Kolzig or Braden Holtby, this franchise is going to be just fine.


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Andrew Lugerner, The New Vegas NHL Capologist

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