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Dale Hunter not returning to Capitals in 2012-13

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Dale Hunter will not return as the head coach of the Washington Capitals for the 2012-13 season, the team confirmed Monday.

Hunter took over behind the bench on Nov. 28. (Photo: Associated Press)

Hunter, who took over for Bruce Boudreau after he was fired in late November, will return home to Canada, Capitals GM George McPhee said at a press conference. McPhee said Hunter consulted with his family before making the decision to go back to Ontario.

The Capitals longtime captain took over behind the bench on Nov. 28, guiding the team to a 30-23-7 record in 2011-12 and the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Hunter left his post as the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights, where he had coached since 2001, to take the same post in Washington.

Washington's playoff run ended on Saturday in a 2-1 Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers. Hunter said that going home to the Knights, calling it a "family business," outweighed staying with Washington next season.

Hunter played for the Capitals between 1987 and 1999, helping lead the franchise to its only Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1998.

Without Hunter behind the bench, the London Knights claimed the OHL championship and will compete in the 2012 Memorial Cup, the annual tournament which crowns Canada's junior hockey champion. The Knights current coach is Dale Hunter's younger brother, Mark.

ABC7's Alex Parker contributed to this report.

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