Tag: George McPhee

George McPhee

Caps GM McPhee on Dale Hunter: “I didn’t expect him to play that defensively”


Over at SB Nation, Ted Starkey relays some intriguing quotes from Washington GM George McPhee’s recent speaking engagement — most notably, McPhee’s thoughts on his former head coach, Dale Hunter.

Here’s McPhee:

“With Dale Hunter, for example, I didn’t expect him to play that defensively. Once we got going, I allowed the coaches to coach the way they wanted to coach.

“Their necks are on the line, I don’t want to be telling them what to do and turn around and fire them for making the wrong decisions. It’s your team, do what you have to do. I try not to talk about what I’m seeing unless they ask.”

Pretty frank admission, no?

Credit to McPhee for not meddling, but it seems wild he’d hire (and continue to employ) Hunter without even discussing the team’s style of play.

Had Hunter been winning, sure, the hands-off approach is great — but the Caps were basically a .500 team under his regime (okay, 30-23-7, and I’m counting the shootout losses as real losses) before gaining a bit of steam in the playoffs (where they performed admirably, but still finished 7-7.)

All this said, and reading firmly between the lines, one can conclude that while McPhee didn’t expect Hunter to play so defensively, he certainly liked it.

When Hunter announced that he was leaving the team, McPhee said he “loved everything about Dale” and praised how Hunter “really taught club the ‘how’ of winning.”

All of which leads to the big, pressing question: Will he employ the same hands-off approach with Adam Oates?

Mike Green says “no” to Washington’s qualifying offer

Mike Green

Mike Green had until today to decide on whether or not to accept the Capitals’ qualifying offer. According to Brian McNally of the Washington Examiner, Green is turning down one-year, $5 million offer.

After turning down arbitration with the team, Green is clearly pursuing more of a long-term deal with the Capitals. He’s been one of the team’s top offensive players, especially on the blue line and is a former Norris Trophy finalist.

By turning down the qualifying offer, Green is a restricted free agent meaning the Capitals can match any offer sheets he could sign with another team. Given the reluctance teams have in signing another team’s RFA, don’t expect GM George McPhee to be put in that position.

McPhee said recently he’s working on long-term deals with both Green and John Carlson and didn’t expect there to be any issues in getting something done soon. Green turning down the qualifying offer is likely a formality leading up to that.

Green and Carlson close to new deals with Washington

Mike Green

The Capitals have a pair of top-flight defensemen to get re-signed this summer in Mike Green and John Carlson. Fear not Caps fans, general manager George McPhee expects both of them to sign soon.

Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com hears from McPhee about the process of getting two of the team’s key blue liners back in the fold and says today is a soft deadline to get it done.

“I think we had healthy discussions with both players and there are deals to be made there. I don’t expect [Sunday] to be a big day. It’s something that will get done sooner than later. They will be deals they can live with and we can live with.”

Green and Carlson, along with next season’s big restricted free agent Karl Alzner, make up the key trio on the Caps defense. Those three are young, super talented, and in Carlson and Alzner’s case, a top-flight pairing. With the salary cap up over $70 million, getting all three taken care of shouldn’t be an issue for Washington.

Caps bits: On seductive talent, Green, Ribeiro and more

Mike Ribeiro
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The Washington Capitals wrapped up their development camp today, and with that, addressed the media on a variety of topics. Here’s a collection of some of the most important, interesting and amusing bits.

(Note: gathered media had some of the same quotes, so each bit will get linked to Katie Carrera, Neil Greenberg, Chuck Gormley, Brian McNally and Stephen Whyno respectively.)

Oates on Ribeiro: “A lot skinnier than I thought he would be. Looks like a rapper.”

  • McPhee views the expired qualifying deal deadline with Mike Green as an “artificial one” and seems optimistic that a deal will get done soon.
  • McPhee made an under-the-radar, low-risk/high-reward move by signing Wojtek Wolski for just $600K this summer. When asked to explain the move, he said he was “glad to sprinkle in more talent.” More amusingly, he also said he gets “seduced by talent from time to time.” (Some might get seduced by the lure of making a meme out of that quote.)
  • To close things off, Whyno has an interesting piece where Filip Forsberg kinda sorta compares himself to Corey Perry.

Caps interviewed Mike Keenan regarding head coaching gig


After some soul searching, the Washington Capitals decided to go with a first-time head coach (and one would think, offense-first guy) in Adam Oates. Darren Dreger provides an fascinating wrinkle to that decision-making process, though: the Caps also interviewed “Iron” Mike Keenan before choosing Oates.

Mike Keenan interviewed for head coaching job in Wash. McPhee called to tell him he was out, just before news broke Oates had been hired.

There are so many different things to take from that scenario. The most obvious one is the mind-blowing concept of Keenan working with Alex Ovechkin. Yup, that would have been … interesting.

Regardless of how serious the Capitals really were when interviewing Keenan, it reveals how much of a fork in the road Washington GM George McPhee was at after Dale Hunter left. He could have gone in a similar – possibly more restrictive – direction with Keenan, but instead he opted for a (seemingly) more player-friendly guy in Oates.

That shouldn’t stop you from picturing the hockey “Odd Couple” that would have been Keenan & Ovechkin. How well do you think they could have worked?