The Washington Capitals are keeping their front office business in-house.
The team announced they’ve promoted Ross Mahoney to be the new assistant general manager under new GM Brian MacLellan.
Mahoney has been serving as the team’s director of amateur scouting for the past 16 seasons. MacLellan had been the previous assistant GM under the now deposed George McPhee.
From the team’s press release:
“Ross is an excellent judge of talent and the success he has enjoyed on the amateur scouting level speaks volumes of his expertise,” said MacLellan. “He is a great asset for our hockey operations staff and someone I greatly respect.”
Before his time in Washington, Mahoney was a scout with the Sabres and Canucks. Now he’ll be MacLellan’s right hand man and will look to get owner Ted Leonsis’ team back on track. The Capitals have a bit of work to do this summer to get the team back to the playoffs.
The Capitals are sticking with chemistry with their hirings of late. They signed Mitch Korn, formerly of the Nashville Predators, to be the new goaltending coach and work alongside new head coach Barry Trotz.
The Washington Capitals reportedly are close to locking down former Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz as their new bench boss, but the team still doesn’t have a new general manager.
As these types of situations go, hiring a new coach before a new GM is in place would be a rare move, but as Elliotte Friedman of CBC points out, the Capitals and owner Ted Leonsis have their field narrowed down and may have their man right under their nose.
The Capitals have talked to or interviewed around 10 people for the position including former GMs Craig Button, Jay Feaster, and Darcy Regier as well as Preds assistant GM Paul Fenton and Bruins assistant GM Don Sweeney.
The most curious one is Capitals assistant GM Brian MacLellan and he’s the guy Friedman hints could be the top choice.
“According to several sources, the current assistant GM was involved in the Trotz interviews and helped show him around the U.S. capital. It is unlikely someone on the way out would be so heavily involved. When this process started, his hiring would be a surprise. Not anymore.”
Promoting MacLellan, who was former GM George McPhee’s assistant, would be a curious move. After 17 years with the Caps, McPhee was fired along with coach Adam Oates on April 26. One advantage MacLellan has going for him right away, as Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com points out, is he has history with Trotz.
After names like Ray Shero and Mike Gillis have also popped up in the discussion, keeping the hiring in-house like this would raise some questions as to what kind of change will come about in trying to make the Caps a Stanley Cup contender. With a big hiring like this, the Caps can’t afford a misstep.
Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis (pictured) has some big decisions to make now that he’s not bringing back now former general manager George McPhee.
Finding a new GM is something the Capitals haven’t had to do since 1997 when McPhee was brought in and, fortunately for Leonsis, there are a lot of qualified people to choose from.
CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley ran down a list of names that immediately jumped to mind. Gormley’s list includes some names that came up during the Buffalo Sabres’ search for a new GM including Boston Bruins assistant GM Jim Benning and Nashville Predators assistant GM Paul Fenton. Former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis is a curious name as is Tampa Bay Lightning assistant GM Julien Brisebois.
We ran down a list of other names when we took a look at who might be up for the Canucks GM position. Ones that stand out there include Canucks “capologist” Laurence Gilman, Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Jason Botterill, and San Jose Sharks assistant GM Joe Will.
One name to keep an eye on? Phoenix Coyotes assistant GM Brad Treliving. Treliving was also in on the Sabres job that ultimately went to Tim Murray and he along with Benning were virtual finalists for that position.
Don Maloney has done a great job with the Coyotes and Treliving’s experience working with him could provide the sort of blueprint Leonsis is looking for in Washington.
Missing the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07 didn’t come without consequences for the Washington Capitals.
Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick announced they will not renew the contract of general manager George McPhee and have fired coach Adam Oates.
McPhee has been with team since 1997 and his ouster comes as more of a surprise than Oates’ release. That said, if the Capitals were making a change at coach, allowing McPhee to make the decision after going through three coaches in three seasons wouldn’t look good on the organization.
Leonsis released a statement regarding both of them:
“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. “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.”
“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.”
Oates record as Caps coach was 65-48-17 in two seasons.
After helping Washington reach the playoffs last season, he wasn’t able to get them to overcome struggles this season and helped exacerbate the situation with curious decisions with the lineup. Oates also upset some in Washington by not throwing a lifeline to goalie Jaroslav Halak late in the year when he reportedly opted out of playing against his former team, the St. Louis Blues.
Oates may have sealed his fate when he sparred with Alex Ovechkin regarding his effort backchecking in a game against Dallas.
With the Washington Capitals missing the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, coach Adam Oates has come under fire for how things have gone this season.
As Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com shares, Caps center Nicklas Backstrom said it’s on the players, not Oates, to take responsibility for the team falling well short of expectations this season.
“He played this game and he knows what he’s talking about,” Backstrom said. “I think it’s us as players. We’re the ones that play the game and we’re the ones that should be ashamed.”
It may not come right out as a defense of Oates as coach, but it reads like one. After seeing the Caps miss the postseason, changes are coming to D.C. somehow. Whether that’s Oates being let go or GM George McPhee or perhaps a pile of trades this summer is ultimately up to owner Ted Leonsis to decide.