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People Top 5
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- March 02, 1981
- Vol. 15
- No. 8
Gary Green could be content simply to have lasted a whole season as coach of the Washington Capitals, a luckless expansion team which had chewed up five coaches in its first six years in the National Hockey League. But Green, plucked from the Capitals' Hershey, Pa. farm club, took over early last season to become, at 26, history's youngest NHL coach—and led the Caps to their best record ever. This year he's gearing up his team (including, left to right, Guy Charron, Bengt Gustafsson Bob Kelly and Dennis Ververgaert) for a shot at the Stanley Cup playoffs this spring. A native of rural Tillsonburg, Ont., Green had hockey dreams as soon as he could lace up skates. He played varsity and refereed while speeding through the University of Guelph in two years to make the Vancouver Blazers training camp by 1974. But the 5'9", 190-pound left wing soon decided he was skating on thin ice. "I had lots of desire," he says, "but not enough talent." He bulled his way into the presidency of a hockey school, coached the Junior League Peterborough Petes to the 1979 national championship, then joined Washington's farm system. He was there only two months before the Caps called, and since then he's been a missing person to wife Sharon and Jennifer, 1. His eye is on the net. "I want the Stanley Cup here in Washington."
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