George McPhee

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For the Canadian politician, see George Washington McPhee.
George McPhee
Born (1958-07-02) July 2, 1958 (age 56)
Guelph, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
Position Forward
Shot Right
Played for New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1978–1989

George McPhee (born July 2, 1958) is a Canadian ice hockey executive. McPhee is the former General Manager of the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, he also served as the team's alternate governor and Vice President.

Playing career[edit]

Prior to his career in management, McPhee was a prominent college hockey player at Bowling Green State University. There he was the recipient of the 1982 Hobey Baker Award (given to college hockey's top player), was chosen as a First-Team All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association selection in 1982, Second-Team All-CCHA honors in 1979 and 1981 and was the CCHA's Rookie of the Year in 1979. He won the 1983-84 CHL Championship (Adams Cup) as a member of the Tulsa Oilers team coached by Tom Webster.[1] He began his NHL career in the 1983 playoffs for the New York Rangers. In the 1983 playoffs, he and Ray Cote of the Edmonton Oilers became the first players to score three goals in a single postseason prior to playing a regular season NHL game.[2] He had a seven year career in the NHL with the Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

Management years[edit]

In 1992, McPhee landed his first major NHL management position, starting as vice president and director of hockey operations as well as alternate governor for the Vancouver Canucks, assisting then general manager Pat Quinn. With McPhee, the team made the playoffs four times, won a division championship, and played in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, which they lost to the New York Rangers.

Washington Capitals[edit]

When McPhee joined the Capitals in 1997, the team was looking to turn around its long storied history of being a regular season juggernaut, only to fold in the playoffs. Things started off great, as McPhee engineered the club's first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in his first season. The team has played well under the general management of McPhee, having won seven Southeast Division championships (1999–2000, 2000–01, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2012-2013), had eight 40-or-more win seasons (1997–98, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10 and 2010–11, 2011-12) and a franchise record 121-point season (2009–10).

Lorne Molleken incident[edit]

On September 25, 1999, McPhee, angry at what he perceived to be dirty play by the Chicago Blackhawks, punched then Blackhawks head coach Lorne Molleken outside the Chicago locker room after their teams' exhibition game. Molleken sustained injuries to his head and in response Blackhawks players and team aides jumped McPhee, leaving him with a torn suit. On October 1, 1999, Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, suspended McPhee for a month without pay and fined him $20,000.[3]

2003–04 fire sale[edit]

Throughout the 2003–04 season, McPhee and Caps owner Ted Leonsis made the decision to scrap the team's current lineup in order to dump salaries and begin a youth movement for the team. Thus, in a large fire sale, Sergei Gonchar, Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra, Michael Nylander, Mike Grier, Robert Lang and captain Steve Konowalchuk were all traded within that season. He began the rebuilding of the team by selecting Russian phenom Alexander Ovechkin with the 1st overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, McPhee has cited that he plans to build the Capitals through the entry draft.

On April 26, 2014, George McPhee was relieved of his duties as the Capitals GM.

Retooling years[edit]

The 2007–08 NHL season would prove to be a hopeful one for McPhee, as the Capitals had seemed to turn the corner in their development. With the players they had homegrown in their own farm system blossoming rapidly, as well as other players acquired through trades and free agent signings fitting in comfortably, there was optimism that the Capitals would again be a viable team on the ice. However, after the Capitals started the 2008 season with a 6-14-1 record, McPhee fired Hanlon on November 22 and replaced him with Hershey Bears coach Bruce Boudreau. The coaching shake up worked, and the 2007–08 season would end with an unprecedented comeback and an unexpected Southeast Division Championship. McPhee's prowess as a general manager would be verified in the trade deadline pickups of veterans Sergei Fedorov, Matt Cooke and Cristobal Huet, all of which would play a large role in leading the Capitals to their third Southeast Division Championship.

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
All-CCHA Second Team 1978-79
All-CCHA Second Team 1980-81
All-CCHA First Team 1981-82
AHCA West All-American 1981–82

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1983-84 Tulsa Oilers [CHL]
  2. ^ Klein, J.Z. (May 16, 2012). "With Three Postseason Goals, Rangers’ Kreider Ties Obscure Record". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  3. ^ Lapointe, Joe "ON HOCKEY; McPhee Gets One-Month Ban", The New York Times, October 1, 1999, accessed January 8, 2011.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Award Created
CCHA Rookie of the Year
1978–79
Succeeded by
Steve Mulholland
Preceded by
Jeff Pyle
CCHA Player of the Year
1981-82
Succeeded by
Brian Hills
Preceded by
Neal Broten
Winner of the Hobey Baker Award
1981–82
Succeeded by
Mark Fusco
Preceded by
David Poile
General Manager of the Washington Capitals
19972014
Succeeded by
Brian MacLellan