Monumental – The Washington Capitals will not renew the contract of vice president and general manager George McPhee and have relieved head coach Adam Oates of his duties, majority owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick announced today.
“George has been a terrific, longtime executive for our franchise, and I’m grateful for his commitment to the Capitals organization for the past 17 years,” said Leonsis. “Under his leadership the Capitals won seven division titles, twice were the top team in the Eastern Conference, earned a Presidents’ Trophy and competed in the playoffs 10 times. He was a highly effective manager who is extremely well regarded within our organization and around the NHL. We have the utmost respect for him and his family and wish them nothing but the very best.
“We are also appreciative of Adam’s efforts and thank him for his devotion, work ethic and contributions to the Capitals the past two seasons. He is a smart, tactical coach who improved the performance of several of our players. He is a Hall of Fame player who we believe will be a longtime coach in the NHL. We will help him in whatever way we are able and wish him well.
This is an important time for our organization, and I feel a change is needed in order to get us back to being a top echelon team that competes for the Stanley Cup.”
It wasn’t if, but when this would happen. Nobody is shocked. Oates was a bad coach. No other way to put it. His line combos made no sense, the players were confused by what he was doing, and he didn’t have the locker room anymore. McPhee was the GM for 17 years and never solidified the blue line. Quite remarkable you can be a GM for 17 years and not bring in a top defenseman to a team that was gunning for the cup every year, and that is what got him in the end.
So now the club is somewhere in between rebuilding and competing. A state of purgatory. Not bad enough to completely scrap it and start over, but not good enough to be one piece away from winning the cup. Should be interesting to see what the new GM decides to do.