Private exit interviews contributed to Capitals’ cleaning house


For obvious reasons, if a player is going to speak about his head coach or general manager to the media, it is usually in a show of support. What do you suppose the Capitals players were saying about former coach Adam Oates and GM George McPhee off the record?

For the first time since he bought the Washington Capitals, Ted Leonsis, joined by Capitals president Dick Patrick, conducted private exit interviews, according to CSN Washington.

“When we spoke to all of the individuals, we said, ‘We know this is uncomfortable and you should be able to tell us whatever you want or tell us nothing, but whatever you tell us is just going to be between me and Dick because we’re seeking out information,’” Leonsis said.

Leonsis and Patrick considered the results of those conversations and then asked themselves if they thought the current leadership group was capable of competing for the Stanley Cup in 2014-15.

“Our answer was obviously no,” Leonsis said.

Oates had some critical things to say about several players in recent weeks. He accused Alex Ovechkin of quitting on a Dallas Stars goal. He claimed Jaroslav Halak didn’t want to play against his former squad, St. Louis, in a key game, which left Halak’s agent bewildered that “a coach would break that trust” by sharing the contents of a private conversation, especially “when those comments the coach publicly attributed to Jaro are not accurate.”

The former bench boss also labeled defenseman Mike Green as an enigma.

Meanwhile, a report suggested that McPhee had an “adversarial relationship with player agents.”


Leonsis: Capitals weren’t ‘trending toward being able to compete for a Cup’

Backstrom: ‘We’re the ones that should be ashamed’

Derek Roy continues his career in Switzerland

Alex Tanguay, Derek Roy
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Derek Roy will continue his pro career overseas, as he has signed a contract with Bern in the Swiss League.

Roy attended training camp on a professional tryout with the Washington Capitals, but he was unable to claim a spot on their roster.

The 32-year-old had some great years in the NHL, but since the 2011-12 season Roy had suited up for six different teams (excluding his PTO with the Caps).

His best season came in 2007-08 when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games with the Buffalo Sabres.

Roy will leave the NHL with 189 goals and 524 points in 738 career games.

He will join former NHLers Cory Conacher, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Simon Moser and Sean Bergenheim in Bern.


Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner

They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.