The Washington Capitals announced Saturday morning that GM George McPhee and coach Adam Oates will not return next season.
McPhee served the Capitals for 17 seasons. He guided the Caps to the Stanley Cup final in his first year on the job in 1997-98, but hadn’t led them back since.
Oates, who’d previously served as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils, was hired as Washington’s bench boss in June of 2012. He coached the team to a Southeast Division title but couldn’t get them past the first round of the playoffs. The Caps finished ninth in the east in the second year under Oates’ watch.
George McPhee was Caps GM for 17 years. His teams never made it past the conference semifinal after his first year on the job. It was time.
— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) April 26, 2014
Maybe Adam Oates is better cut out to be an assistant coach – public face wasn’t strong, from dissing Hertl to throwing Ovie/Halak under bus
— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) April 26, 2014
To me, the 2013 Forsberg for Erat/Latta deal was the beginning of the end for McPhee. Reeked of desperation.
— Matt Larkin (@THNMattLarkin) April 26, 2014
From the official press release:
“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.”