Washington Capitals' Goalie Coach Is Not Returning

Jake WareCorrespondent IIIJune 9, 2011

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 9:  Goalie Arturs Irbe #1 of the Carolina Hurricanes protects the net from the Washington Capitals during the game at the MCI Center on January 9, 2003 in Washington D.C.  The Capitals won 4-1, and won their 1,000th game.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals announced today that goalie coach Arturs Irbe will not be returning for the 2011-2012 season.

The 44-year-old Latvian, who became a fan favorite as a coach during his time in Washington, has served in that position for the past two seasons, helping to tutor youngsters Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby.

He will be stepping down from his role due to family reasons. His contract expires at the end of June, and the club announced today that he will not seek to renew it. He has family in Raleigh, NC, and he often travelled back and forth during his time in Washington.

Irbe came to the Capitals after a successful 13-year NHL career in which he played for San Jose, Dallas, Vancouver and finally Carolina.

The team is now expected to begin a search for a new goalie coach who has similar capabilities of mentoring whichever young tandem of goalkeepers the Capitals head into next season with.