HERSHEY -- Mark French will return as head coach of the Hershey Bears in 2012-13. His assistant coach, Troy Mann, will also return, as well.
The Bears and Washington Capitals will also remain partners, both clubs announced Wednesday. The agreement is for two more years, through the 2013-14 season.
French guided the team to a 38-26-0-12 record this past season. He won the Calder Cup in 2009-10.
“The combined efforts of the Capitals and the Bears have produced playoff teams each year and three championships here in Hershey since our partnership began,” Hershey Bears president/general manager Doug Yingst said in a statement.
"It is a win-win for both parties and we are thrilled to team up again.” The Bears became a Capitals affiliate prior to the 2005-06 season.
Hershey has qualified for the playoffs in all seven seasons of the affiliation, and has reached the Calder Cup Finals in four of those seven, respectively.
The announcement should come as no surprise, however.
Capitals general manager George McPhee said eight days ago he was not worried about not having a deal done with Hershey, according to the Washington Examiner. "It’s not unusual," said McPhee. "The relationship we have, things are fine there."
Several current or former Bears – including Karl Alzner, Keith Aucoin, Jay Beagle, John Carlson, Sean Collins, John Erskine, Cody Eakin, Mike Green, Matt Hendricks, Braden Holtby, Marcus Johansson, D.J. King, Tomas Kundratek, Brooks Laich, Michal Neuvirth, Dmitry Orlov, Mathieu Perreault, Joel Rechlicz and Jeff Schultz – skated with the Capitals in 2011-12.The 2012-13 season will mark the Hershey's 75th anniversary in the American Hockey League.