George McPhee

McPhee supports Boudreau’s bold decisions


If you were Bruce Boudreau, you’d want to make damn sure management had your back before making some of the moves he’s made this season.

Fortunately for the Capitals’ coach, it appears he’s got the support of general manager George McPhee.

The Washington Post spoke with McPhee yesterday about his team’s tumultuous start that has the vultures circling the man behind the bench.

“Bruce did the right thing with [Alex Ovechkin] in the Anaheim game,” McPhee said. “He did the right thing when he didn’t start [Tomas] Vokoun in the opener. He did the right thing tonight sitting [Alex] Semin.”

It’s hard to imagine McPhee wasn’t fully on board with Boudreau’s commitment to accountability prior to the 2011-12 season. These two have been working together for a while now. They’ve had their share of long conversations about which direction to take the Caps.

Let’s face it – if McPhee were to fire his coach, it would be just as big an indictment of his own instincts as Boudreau’s. And if you think the Caps are going in the wrong direction, therein might lie the problem. How can McPhee pull the trigger on a coaching change if all his coach is doing is instituting the plan they came up with together?

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.