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Future of assistants Jim Johnson, Dean Evason unclear

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Washington Capitals General manager George McPhee talks with reporters during a press conference at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va., Monday, July 11, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times) Washington Capitals General manager George McPhee talks with reporters during a press conference at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va., Monday, July 11, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

Assistants Dean Evason and Jim Johnson were both considered, at least early on in the process, candidates to fill the Washington Capitals’ head coaching vacancy. What remains of their respective futures with the organization remains to be seen.

Asked Thursday whether Evason and Johnson will return, general manager George McPhee seemed to indicate they won’t be back. But he didn’t shut any doors.

“Not sure. Probably not. But we’ll see,” McPhee said. “I don’t want to get into names until we pick a coach. We can talk a little bit more about it then.”

McPhee admitted the Caps narrowed their list of potential coaching candidates. Evason declined comment when reached Thursday.

McPhee did not officially rule out Evason or Johnson staying with a promotion, but reading between the lines it seems like that won’t happen.

“And you’re trying to balance their futures as well as our needs. If they’re not going to be here then they need opportunities elsewhere before the doors close,” McPhee said. “So we’re trying to stay on top of that, for us and for them.”

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