Washington Capitals head coach Dale Hunter stepped down Monday, less than 48 hours after his team was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the New York Rangers, The Washington Post reported.
General manager George McPhee said Hunter's decision did not come as a surprise, pointing out he was only hired on a one-year contract after taking over in late November for Bruce Boudreau.
The team went 30-23-7 under Hunter, squeaking into the playoffs by three points in a tie for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
The Caps upped their level of play in the postseason, scoring an upset victory in seven games over the defending-champion Boston Bruins.
The team was beaten 2-1 Saturday night by the Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Hunter, 51, saw his No. 32 retired by the Capitals in 2000, only the fourth player in team history to receive the honor. He was the only player in NHL history to record more than 1,000 career points and over 3,000 penalty minutes.