Thread: Speculation: The GM debate
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05-11-2011, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SwedeSpeedBackstrom View Post

I understand this is from ESPN and it is of course not our favorite source of hockey information but it does state the facts.

McPhee was hired in 1997 the first year the Verizon Center was opened, and earned a trip with to the Stanley Cup finals where the Capitals were swept in his rookie season as Caps GM. Since then McPhee has been through a firesale and rebuild, since the Lockout the Capitals have made the postseason 4 times and have never advanced past the second round, most recently being swept by division rival and lower seed Tampa Bay.

Since 1997 McPhee has hired Ron Wilson, Bruce Cassidy, Glen Hanlon, and Bruce Boudreau. None of the coaches had won a Stanley Cup nor have they won a Stanley Cup since leaving the Capitals. Two out of the four coaches are currently not in the NHL.

It's become increasingly clear over the years that Leonsis takes his orders from McPhee, not the other way around. Despite ruining the team after the Stanley Cup and failing to make a sustained postseason run since the lockout McPhee's job has never been in question.

Leonsis is all too comfortable with the losing culture that has surrounded the Washington Capitals since their inception in the seventies. As long as the seats are being filled and the money is coming in things are going exactly as they should be, everything is going according to plan. Winning is not and has not ever been in this franchise's vocabulary and there is no action being taken to change this. Leonsis is afraid to take action when action is necessary, the sign of a weak and inefficient leader that would be terminated or posted in almost any other profession. Nobody wants to question the man who signs the checks, and our GM, the one man who has some capacity to, as it seems owns the man.
My theory is that Leonsis gave McPhee a mulligan for the Jagr years since Leonsis forced him to take Jagr, probably against his advice. (One could certainly make the argument, however, that McPhee did a poor job of building around Jagr during those years, even if he didn't want Jagr to begin with, so that the mulligan was misguided). Even if you take the mulligan view, however, McPhee's seeming lack of accountability is puzzling. It is one thing for an owner to hire a good hockey guy and let him do his job. It is completely something else to abdicate your responsiblity as owner to hold your employees accountable and act in the best interest of the team.............

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