The Washington Capitals have announced that they have fired head coach Adam Oates, and will not renew the contract of general manager George McPhee. The major changes comes as the team has been seen as underachievers in recent years, and missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years this season.
Oates, a former star player for the Capitals, had one season left on his three-year contract. This was his first job as a head coach after being an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils.
“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,” said Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis. “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.”
McPhee had been the General Manager of the Capitals for 17 years, and had overseen the rebuild of the club around first round picks Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. However despite much regular season success, the team has not been able to get past the second round of the playoffs.
“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.
A major issue this season was the play of Alexander Ovechkin, he led the NHL in goals once again, but saw his even-strength production plummet down the stretch and ended up leading the league on the wrong side of the plus/minus statistic. The next GM and Coach will face the task of building a winning team and system around one of the world’s best goal scorers.
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