CAPITALS FIRE OATES, GM MCPHEE

April 26, 2014 | Roy G Edwards

The Washington Capitals announced Saturday morning that 17 year general manager George McPhee and head coach Adam Oates would both not return for the 2014-15 season.

Majority owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick announced released the following statement “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.” The move comes as no surprise as the Capitals failed to make the postseason this past season for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

McPhee was only Washington’s second general manager in the last 32 years, as he has been the Capitals GM for the past 17 seasons. He was a part of many good moves that included the drafting of Alex Ovechkin and bringing in undrafted Niklas Backstrom, but has recently come under fire with the lack of postseason wins. With the emergence of the Washington Wizards and Washington Nationals the Capitals have been fighting to keep it’s fan base happy. Leonsis said prior to the season that he expected “Playoffs of bust” from his franchises and he kept his promise in letting go McPhee and Oates of the playoff-less Capitals.

“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.”

Owner Ted Leonsis and President Dick Patrick will hold a press conference, April 26 at 4 p.m. in the Verizon Center media room to discuss the organizational moves as well as the future of the Washington Capitals.

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