Jaroslav Halak’s Agent Has Beef With Adam Oates


Photo: Bruce Bennett

In a season that has been inordinately long and drama-filled, here comes MOAR drama! On Tuesday, Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates announced that Jaroslav Halak would not start against his old team because Halak reportedly said he didn’t feel “100% comfortable” playing. Halak then spent most of the afternoon getting criticized by local and national media for a lack of desire and toughness. We thought this conversation should have stayed private.

Halak’s agent, Allan Walsh, has issued a statement and apparently he agrees with us. I hope you’re ready for some venom, Oatesy.

Per 106.7 The Fan’s Sky Kerstein:

On Jaroslav Halak, Jaro never at anytime said he didn’t want to start against St. Louis. A private conversation between a player and coach should stay private and not be discussed with the media. I am bewildered that a coach would break that trust especially when those comments the coach publicly attributed to Jaro are not accurate. It’s the coach who makes the decision on who plays in the games, not the players.

Halak also echoed these statements after the game last night.

So what do we have here? A notoriously loud agent is defending a player who is about to be an unrestricted free agent. They are trying to get on top of a story that makes him look like he’s meek and not competitive. That could cost him money in the end and that must not stand!

But the problem I have with this, before the game, Halak spoke with NHL.com’s Lou Korac and said about not starting, “It’s still too fresh. Maybe if it was under different circumstances, like next year, you know.”

So I’m giving Walsh’s statement a suspicious side-eye.

The Capitals have had three players request trades this season. Dmitry Orlov was forced to stay in limbo between Hershey and Washington for two months because Adam Oates wouldn’t play him at the NHL level. Oates criticized Ovechkin about giving up a on play defensively. This is a ridiculous amount of drama for one season.

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  • Capper63

    I guess Oates just wanted to make sure that he (himself/Oates) was gone soon….

  • Rob W.

    Can you feel it? Can you feel Oates’ time in DC coming to an end?


  • Jack Conness

    Okay, I think Jaro did ask to not play against the Blues. That isn’t cool. The Caps acquired him to make a playoff push. I realize they are basically out of it now but what if the Caps were in the 8th spot and REALLY needed this game? Would he just bow out and not play? That upsets me.

    But what is even worse is Oates making this public. Don’t throw your players under the bus. Ever. It is kept in-house. I think we all learned this when we played T-ball or had an argument with our parents. You don’t just go blab and tell everyone, especially in professional sports. It should be taken care of man-to-man.

    I really hope this is the end of this mess. I am guessing Jaro is gone after this season. I’m hoping Oates is gone too. We need to forget about this season ASAP.

  • Pat Magee

    Heres guessing that if McPhee ISN’T fired, he’ll fire Oates and then hire Carlyle. #apocalypse

  • dylan wheatley

    we should have known better before hiring eddie munster

  • VeggieTart

    I wonder if Halak was a bit torn–I can understand how a goalie (heck, any player) would feel uncomfortable and nervous gong against a team that traded him a little over a month ago–and when asked if he was ready, admitted to being nervous or uncomfortable. Oates interpreted that as him not wanting to play and spun some bullshit story.

    If Oates had any class, he would have said something along the lines of Halak not being 100 percent–which happens–or that since the other goalie had a great game last time, he’s starting again. That would be believable, given Oates’s hot hand theory.

  • Capper63

    Well, technically GMGM will either be extended, or he will not be extended. There will be no firing.
    But yes, I really can see no way GMGM does not hire a new coach if he is extended. Maybe Carlyle, maybe someone who will become available in the next few weeks?

  • mxhockeyrich

    Oates is doing what he can to blame the players for his coaching. He put this team where it is by HIS bad decisions and his staff. They are treating the team like they are coaching pee wee. Changing the way they play individually instead of using them for there strengths and coaching a team. I can’t wait until April 14th when Oates is re leaved of his coaching duties!!!! Someone that knows Oates, told me once that he hoped he did not get the coaching job. Now I know why. NO Character !!!

  • Tadd

    Erat (Czech), Neuvirth (Czech), Orolov (Russian) and now Halak (Slovak).
    Oates forgot the iron curtain was lifted some 25 years ago?

  • Owen Johnson

    Halak and Holtby being awesome since the trade deadline (and the rest of the team sucking) really puts to rest the whole “goaltending was our problem” angle. Also, maybe if the coaching staff didn’t make Holtby change his game IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON, our goaltending would have been strong the whole season.

  • Owen Johnson

    Are you referring to Oates? Because he’s less Eddie Munster and more of a Romulan.

  • Pat Magee

    I’m honestly pretty excited for our future. Depending on what happens in these next few weeks, anyway.

  • Pat Magee

    Hey you guys remember when Vokoun was all excited to play against his former team IN florida? He bought his family/friends all tickets, but BBBB gave the start to Neuvy? This feels similar.

  • Owen Johnson

    Except Jim Carey doesn’t play for the Caps anymore.

  • Barrett

    don’t forget Penner (Winkler).

  • Bobo95

    According to the media Jaro said that, “he wasn’t 100% comfortable playing against his former team.” At no point, however, did he say he was incapable of playing them.

    No way Jaro will be back. If Oates is still our coach, say good-bye Grabo. And if GMGM stays say hello to another craptastic season.

  • Owen Johnson

    I think this is the final nail in the Oates coffin, if the throwing Ovi under the bus to the media wasn’t already.

  • Elaine

    I get being uncomfortable but I’m sorry he has zero sympathy from me. I work in an industry where I was let go from one job where I was working for 10 years and now I deal with them on a regular basis in my new job. Is it weird and uncomfortable? Yes. But I put my feelings aside and work. And I don’t make $4 million a year.

    At the same time I absolutely feel Oates has said things he shouldn’t say. I see Burnside with ESPN is defending Oates, but lets face it: he has thrown his players under the bus a few times. If he stays on how do the Caps expect to attract Free Agents, or convince a player with a NTC to waive it to come here? Oates is clueless, just clueless, both on the ice and how he conducts himself with the media and players off ice.

    I would love to see coaching and management gone and the next GM bring in his own staff. I’m not sure how Ted will keep Season Ticket Hodlers if he keeps this staff around. I know quite a few who are only renewing because of the Winter Classic. Our window to compete with Ovechkin and Backstrom is closing; we don’t have the time for a rebuild if we are going to keep these stars. We need an aggressive smart GM.

  • gmg22

    Agreed — that’s kind of the impression I’m getting here. Halak maybe should have chosen his words a little more wisely, but Oates didn’t need to throw him under the bus.

  • hockey mom

    Seriously, we need our own Bravo show, we can have it subsidize our ticket prices! This is too much drama…

  • Rob Reichhelm

    Do we actually think the Caps will part with Oates so soon? I know this was addressed on this blog previously. But is there any sort of consensus that Oates has done enough wrong to overshadow the black eye the brass will take for hiring him and then letting him go so soon?

  • CM

    This question is what keeps me up at night. There are reports that the caps are looking for a new GM and I can’t imagine any new GM would want Oates to stick around. I feel pretty comfortable betting on both Oates and GMGM being gone.

    But if by some miracle GMGM stays I think it’s possible Oates will too for the reason you mentioned.

  • I’m pretty confident the Caps will fire Oates and let GMGM walk. Not everyone on the blog shares my confidence, but they can speak for themselves.

  • Tina

    Someone in my circle of friends brought up the idea of bringing back Jason Arnott as the new coach….hmmmm scored GWG in the Cup finals in double overtime….could it be worse than Oates? That’d be hard to do….

  • Jon A

    I 100% agree with Alan May on this one. This conversation should’ve stayed private but the public wasn’t privy to the whole thing anyways and easily can be taken out of context. And completely agree with Ian about Walsh’s statements.

    Although Oates has handled so many situations SO badly, it’s sad.

    Good Read: Alan May on Halak:

  • Rob Reichhelm

    It’s a bit of a shame as I have very fond memories of him in uniform for the Caps making things happen. Great players don’t always make great coaches.

  • Owen Johnson

    I’m more confident that Oates will be gone though. Also, I’m indifferent one way or another about GMGM. I think it’s time to part ways, but I don’t think he’s a BAD GM.

  • Capper63

    I am glad he was able to carve out a second career in Hollywood after the Flyers ruined him as a goaltender.

  • Matt Lauer

    If you’re invited to a party, it’s generally best to check drama at the door.

  • Jon A

    The Caps will at least part with Oates. I hope GMGM walks, but am not confident he will. Although on another note, I’ve always wondered why, with GMGM’s affinity for big physical forwards, he keeps picking up offensive d-men instead of a stay at home show stopper.

    Of course, this is ranks at a lowly #1,101 of my list of things I wonder about the way the Caps have done things recently.

  • Matt Lauer

    I tend to agree. I would prefer the GMGM walks, because he has done some good things for the organization (getting Tikkanen and Bellows for ’98, drafting well). But he has also made some real boneheaded moves, the top three of which are, for me: (1) Trading Zednik and Bulis for Linden and Zubrus, (2) Trading Fleischmann for Hannan, and (3) everyone’s personal favorite, the Forsberg trade.

  • Michael Reschly

    Curious: Does a GM (in general, or GMGM in particular) have authority to fire a coach, or does that need an owner’s blessing?

    Also: any chance the caps hire the soon-to-be-available Tortorella?

  • Matt Lauer

    A Tortorella hiring: possible, but to be vehemently opposed.

  • There’s a rumor that Arnott was hated in the locker room.

  • Michael Reschly

    Didn’t intend to imply I wanted it to happen. Just wondering about likelihood.

  • Matt Lauer

    Interesting! Hadn’t heard that one before.

  • Tina

    This locker room drama is so reminiscent of high school….ugh.

  • I never liked him as a player. I was really cool on Oates until Mike Vogel dropped the piece about how Oates helped Chris Simon’s scoring in 99 or something.

    Then it went back down when he put Ovi with Crabb and Beagle in game 4 last season.

  • bulk

    Oates calling out OV and now Halak, line disfunction, goalie disfunction. Too much inconsistency all season. Oates has lost the team and will be gone. Let’s hope GMGM is gone as well and we bring in a seasoned GM who has a plan and can hire a seasoned coach to work that plan.

  • Jon A

    If he was brought here, he’d get 100’s of water bottles thrown at him for a long while by Caps fans before they accepted him.

  • Rob Reichhelm

    I think I have good memories playing as him NHL video games on Super Nintendo more than anything. Had about as much personality as a blue and black blob on that screen as he has in real life.

  • Veloj

    well he doesn’t use logic or adapt to things that aren’t working. you have a point

  • Fedor

    Next headline: “Everyone Has Beef With Adam Oates”

  • #FailedRMNBCRLPitches Peter eats beef barbecue with Adam Oates, discusses punk rock music and lacrosse

  • CM

    I think Torts is done in hockey after this year and headed to the broadcast booth.

  • yv

    In some excuse there were quotes a week ago that Halak said that he will not resign with the Caps and will test free agents market. I didn’t like this to hear because Caps have been in the middle of playoffs run. So Oates revealations might related to Halak’s interview. Seems a lot going on behind the closed doors that we are not aware of.

  • Graham Dumas

    Oates is into punk? Or is that your contribution to the party?

  • MuzzMuzzington

    I’m fine with Halak saying to the coach he wasn’t ready. He was being honest in a private setting about what would give the team the best chances. Goalie has a large mental aspect and he didn’t feel good playing so he fessed up. Holtby played great, voila the team benefited.

    Oates taking it to the media is a dumbfounding bit of throwing your player under the bus. Oates talks about respecting the game because a rookie scores a fancy goal? How about respecting your players there Oatesy.

    Erat, Penner, Perry, Neuvy, Wilsy, Halak, etc. he is atrociously bad about managing this teams players.

  • Well, he *called* himself a punk. He might’ve been into Psychedelic Furs or something.

  • Graham Dumas

    “Oatesy Destroyed the Caps’ Scene”


  • Tina

    The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg discussed how Arnott’s influence is being felt in the Caps locker room, particularly the emphatic words of center Brooks Laich.

    “If it’s somebody else coming in who’s new and just says
    ‘Well I’m gonna turn everything around here,’ maybe they don’t have the earned respect that Arnie does.So when Arnie says something — ‘Ok, something’s wrong here guys, we’re not gonna win what we want to win unless we fix this specifically’ — players are really gonna listen up and make the changes. And I think he’s done a great, great job of that.”

    And so, what specifically has he said?”

    “He’s come in and really united the whole group,” Laich said.
    “[He’s]said ‘Ok listen guys, I know we’re very talented and we’re great with the puck, but if we want to win what we want to win, we have to play on the other side of the puck, we have to play without the puck, wehave to play defensively.’ And he’s really helped right the ship in that regard. And I can’t say enough about him.”


  • GreenMustGo

    If you can’t be there for your team when they need you the most, team has no loyalty to the player. I hope it does cost him money on the FA market.

  • VeggieTart

    What about Laviolette?

  • Bilal


    Would you rather have Oates gone, or GMGM gone?
    There are no boths…..just pick one

  • yes?

  • Brandon

    Oates is, was and has been a giant wiener during his entire NHL tenure as a coach and a player. We’ve seen what he’s done as a coach, he had the C stripped from him for running his mouth when he was in Washington and the ‘A’ stripped from him during his time in Boston for similar things. Seriously, the guy is a goof and frankly about as far from professional as it gets. It’s hilarious and ironic that McPhee was in charge when he was here as a player. The guy has one hell of an ego, that’s for sure.

  • CapsGuest


  • Myan

    I’m disappointed that Jaro said that he didn’t want to play but seriously, why on earth would you publicly announce that, Oates?! He’s a UFA in a few weeks and those comments hurt his potential to get the contract that he wants. That just isn’t kosher. Effed up on so many levels.

  • A_Shoe

    It all really depends on who the Caps bring in this offseason, both on the FO/Coaching and personnel sides. Gotta shore up that defense, gotta get better up the middle. I’ll start being optimistic after I see the direction they take.


    Caps are on a rolll with burning bridges this season. Christ. Bye Oatsie, Bye GMGM.

  • Cthulu’s Alarm Clock

    Go home, Ted. You’re drunk.

  • JenniferH

    A+ comment.

  • JenniferH

    And another A+ comment. You guys are on a roll, man!

  • Bilal

    dammit I feel really dumb now

  • Eric Schulz

    I believe he’s most definitely a BAD GM; he has done quite a few things well… he’s not bad ON EVERY LEVEL, but he repeatedly makes the same mistake, again and again and again: evaluating the team, identifying the weakness, and addressing it (defense… did I need to add that?). That’s the definition of stupidity (not insanity, BTW, I hate that phrase; if somebody tries to pull a door open, and it doesn’t work… then pulls, then pulls, then pulls again… do you say ‘What a psycho?’ or “What a moron?”). So, it’s not a complete disaster like, say, Toronto. I’ve said before, I see a way we right the ship just during this offseason, and contend next year, so we have a great foundation and a very nice pipeline. However, he has shown that he won’t add the right pieces to the foundation… so, yeah, that’s bad.

  • Eric Schulz

    Sweet Jesus, I hope not.

  • Eric Schulz

    Alright, first, let me defend Oates: he was told by a player that the player didn’t feel 100% comfortable starting, so he started somebody else. Given that Holtby is a legit starting-caliber goalie, we are all fine with that. Quite a few people seemed to feel that our chances of winning were not at all negatively impacted; I was one of them. He explained his coaching decision. He did NOT throw Halak under the bus; he expected that we all would understand that Halak felt uncomfortable, and that we would all understand the decision made, and that we would all be okay with it. In his defense, we should have. It’s not great that Halak felt that his play wouldn’t have been 100% against the Blues, but you’d rather he tell the truth so that you can make a fully informed decision than lie to you. He wasn’t throwing Halak under the bus, he was just being transparent, which is his style (nothing wrong with THAT aspect of his coaching, IMO).
    In Halak’s defense, he never (as far as I understand) asked to NOT play; he simply warned the coach that he felt uncomfortable with the situation. As I said, that’s what he should do: be honest. It then becomes Oates’ job to make the best decision for the team; if our backup was a backup-caliber guy, like a Brent Johnson, then we probably still start Halak. Luckily, we have two starters, so we went with Holtby.
    So, yes, I get why Halak and his agent are not happy with the situation; I get why the fans are unhappy with Halak’s feelings about the game; I get why people aren’t happy with how Oates handled things. HOWEVER, I would say Oates didn’t throw Halak under the bus. He should’ve realized that people would view Halak’s discomfort with the situation as refusal to play (even though it wasn’t), and/or viewed him negatively due to that, attributing it to a lack of competitive fire. Oates could’ve easily said that THEY were worried about Halak’s mindset going against his former team, and/or talked Holtby’s recent play up, never mentioning the talk he and Halak had. He didn’t handle it well; I don’t see it as “throwing Halak under the bus,” however.

  • Eric Schulz

    Oates never said Halak refused to play, as far as I can tell; he simply told us what Halak said; since VeggieTart here seems to realize that Halak admitted to being nervous or uncomfortable, it seems that I’m not the only one who interpreted it that way (in the post yesterday, I remember reading “wasn’t 100% comfortable,” but never read anything about refusing to play). Oates didn’t throw him under the bus; he didn’t need to be as transparent as he was, and I think he should’ve kept that to himself, but I don’t think it was anything negative on Oates’ part; he just didn’t realize that we would all jump on Halak. He probably figured we’d understand, and be just fine with Holtby starting, understanding the logic that Holtby at 100% gives us a better chance to win than Halak at less than 100%.

  • Eric Schulz

    Seems to me that he doesn’t “run his mouth” so much as he believes in transparency. While it wasn’t really the best thing in this situation IMO, I don’t think it was a lack of professionalism on his part.
    Attacking his ability to identify talent and/or maximize our roster’s talent by putting our players in the best position to succeed (line combinations, mostly) is a completely legitimate beef to have with Oates. I don’t think his professionalism is the problem here. I think the way he handles players (teaching, rather than yelling) is very professional, and makes a lot of sense. He hasn’t been perfect, of course, but I don’t think he’s been unprofessional.

  • Myan

    Never say never but I feel pretty confident that the fans would never accept Torts. I just hate his face so much.

  • Seth Malaguerra

    Halak may or may not have wussed on the St. Louis start. But there Oates goes, running his mouth. Thank god this team is getting eliminated from playoff contention tonight. Bush league. Bush. League.

  • OSnapSonnn .

    Through numerous practices and games, the Blues know Halak inside and out, and there is no way they wouldn’t abuse the Caps’ piss-poor defense and any weaknesses he may have. I think it was a smart move, I just don’t think it should have been publicized.

  • Owen Johnson

    If Oates is into punk, he gets a +1 from me. Although I would like to quote Millencolin by saying “My favorite hockey team is struggling. It makes my stomach bubbling bad. Their hard times really make me sad. We’ve had some fucked up years. Now its time to wipe away those tears. Must be stroooooooong.”

  • Graham Dumas

    Haha, lozin’ must!

  • Chris hammer

    The caps owner in 2010 wished the Cbj a nice long offseason. The CBJ would like to wish you a nice long off season this year. Watch out for that golfers elbow. #thenorthrembers

  • CapsKel

    No, Oates is a prick. I’m sick of his BS. He knew what he was doing.

  • CapsKel

    If the Caps were in a playoff spot, I think Halak’s attitude would be different.

  • Guest

    Well, at least the Gillette Sales Rep for the capital region is happy. The demand for razors remains intact.

  • Owen Johnson

    ^^^Except they’re Penguins fans X-P ^^^

  • Graham Dumas

    Anti-flag? Or millencolin? Either way, I’m burning their albums.

  • Owen Johnson

    Anti-Flag. Especially their bassist http://puckrock.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/anti-flagpro-penguin-my-interview-with-chris-number-2-bassist-from-anti-flag/
    Although they’re from Pittsburgh so they get a pass. And I know Millencolin’s singer is a hockey fan, but them being Swedish, I’m not sure if they have an NHL team.

  • Graham Dumas

    Ok, that I don’t feel so bad about. Anti flag are kinda poserish anyway.

  • serpent

    He could coach, maybe?

  • Owen Johnson

    I’m jus’ sayin’ he LOOKS like a Romulan. I thought that even when he played.

  • Roman Z.
  • Owen Johnson

    True, but they have some good tunes. Also, despite him being a Pens fan, I think I would get along with #2; we’re both punk rock bassists who like hockey.

  • Graham Dumas

    Boom. Plus one for Misfits; minus five for Rangers.

    Also, I was in your home and native land over the weekend. I found it very pleasant (and the food was delicious).

  • Roman Z.

    You went behind the iron curtain for a weekend?

  • Graham Dumas

    Fair enough. But I bet the Millencolin guys have their own NHL favs–perhaps Red Wings? I feel like it’s hard to love hockey, but to limit yourself to something like the elitserien when the NHL is so visible.

  • Graham Dumas

    James Bond says: “I used to shoot in and out once in a while.”

    No, I mean your current home, and not-so-native land (eh?). Didn’t you say once you lived in Canada?

  • andy

    No, Oates is not a good coach- Having a skilled team like this miss playoffs makes that evident. However, if you are an NHL player making $4.5 million it’s INCREDIBLY unprofessional to say it’s ‘too fresh’ to play any team. You’re a hockey player. You are paid to play hockey. If someone paid me $100 I would play in the NHL, unfortunately the scouts have yet to recognize my talent…should be getting that call any day now…

  • Roman Z.

    Lol I did, but Canada is my adoptive land! That’s why I got confused for a minute son. But yes food is SO much better here than across the border (not bragging, just talking from experience i.e. NY, NJ, Pennsylvania, Vermont, VA, Carolinas, Georgia, Florida). And where did you go?

  • Graham Dumas

    I mean, food in NYC is also great (where else in the US can you get good Georgian food, I all you?). But it’s expensive.

    Went to Montreal, had an absolute blast.

  • Roman Z.

    BTW you’re right NYC is the only exception, its culinary scene is pretty good, but you got to shell out to really enjoy it. Montreal, that’s my city! Where did you go out?

  • Graham Dumas

    Let’s see. Salle a manger, la prunelle, and a pied du cochon, I believe? All excellent. Also some random places on saint Denis.

  • Roman Z.

    Business trip?

  • Graham Dumas

    Nah, just for fun. Went with some friends. Definitely would come back, though!