George McPhee

Time to trade a goalie? Caps GM doesn’t think so


Washington is in a similar situation to what they had a couple seasons ago. They’ve got three young goalies they like and just one of them dominating most of the ice time. Braden Holtby is their No. 1 guy now with Michal Neuvirth backing him up and Philipp Grubauer waiting in the wings in AHL Hershey.

With the trade deadline coming up on Wednesday, does that mean there’s a deal coming? Capitals GM George McPhee doesn’t see it that way. In speaking with reporters recently, he says he likes the surplus of talent they’ve got in goal, as’s Chuck Gormley shares.

“I’m in no hurry to make a change there. It’s the most important position in the game and you have to be careful,” McPhee said. “We felt we could move [Semyon] Varlamov [to Colorado] because we had these two kids coming and we’ve got [Philipp] Grubauer now, but you’d like for [Grubauer] to have a little more experience.”

The easiest way for Grubauer to get that experience would be to have someone ahead of him cleared out. McPhee mentioning Semyon Varlamov makes sense for this situation as that’s what this one is very similar to.

He’d probably change his tone about dealing one of his goalies if a team offered up their first and second round picks for one of them.

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 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


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 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

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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.