ARLINGTON, Virginia - Adam Oates' induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame will be tempered by the National Hockey League's work stoppage that threatens to wipe out the entire season.
Oates, who played 19 seasons in the NHL, was named the new coach of the Washington Capitals on the same day he received word of his Hall of Fame selection. He will be enshrined next week but remains waiting for his first game behind the Capitals' bench.
"It's very frustrating," Oates told reporters yesterday at the team's practice facility outside Washington. "But it's a work stoppage and it happens in all walks of life. You've got to take a mature attitude about it. Do I want to coach the guys? Absolutely.
"But it happened to me when I was a player. It happens everywhere so I've just got to wait it out."
The 50-year-old Oates, who played with seven NHL teams, including Washington, finished his career with 341 goals and 1,079 assists in 1,337 games. He will be enshrined in Toronto on November 12 along with Pavel Bure, Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin.
Oates admits he has a different perspective to a lock-out as a coach than he had as a player. "You have different information (as a player )," said Oates.
The NHL last week canceled the annual New Year's Day Winter Classic and, although the two sides have begun negotiating again, the clock is ticking on the fate of the 2012-13 season.
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