ARLINGTON, Va. - Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates will throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch at the Washington Nationals game on Friday, July 6. Oates will throw the first pitch prior to the Nationals game against the Colorado Rockies, which is slated to begin at 7:05 p.m. Friday’s game will also feature a luggage tag giveaway presented by United Airlines for the first 15,000 fans to enter Nationals Park through the Center Field Gate. For tickets to watch the National League East-leading Washington Nationals, visit nationals.com/tickets.
Oates, 49, became the 16th head coach in Washington Capitals history on June 26 after playing 19 seasons in the NHL from 1985-2004, appearing in 1,337 games and collecting 1,420 points (341 goals, 1,079 assists) with Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim and Edmonton. In NHL history only Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux averaged more assists per-game than Oates. During the 1990’s only Gretzky (662) recorded more assists than Oates (636).
The Weston, Ontario, native ranks sixth all-time in assists and 16th all-time in points in NHL history. Oates ranks 25th in NHL history in playoff points, having recorded 156 points (42 goals, 114 assists) in 163 career playoff games. The former center led or was tied for the league lead in assists three times in his career (1992-93, 2000-01 and 2001-02) and ranked in the top-10 in assists in 12 of his 19 seasons. Oates was named an NHL All-Star five times (1991-94 and 1997) and was a six-time Lady Byng finalist during his career (runner-up in four straight seasons).
Oates played in 387 games for the Capitals from 1996-2002, compiling 363 points (73 goals, 290 assists). He ranks 18th in scoring and 10th in assists among all players in Capitals history. Wearing No. 77 for the Capitals, Oates was an alternate captain during the 1997-98 season before serving as the team’s captain from 1999-01