George McPhee

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George McPhee
Born (1958-07-02) July 2, 1958 (age 58)
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 1982–1989

George McPhee (born July 2, 1958) is a Canadian ice hockey executive. He currently holds the position of general manager for the Vegas Golden Knights.[1] 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 and special assistant to the GM of the New York Islanders.

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.[2] 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.[3] He had a seven-year career in the NHL with the Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

Management career[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 that folded 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 played well under the general management of McPhee, achieving seven Southeast Division championships (1999–2000, 2000–01, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, and 2012–2013), eight 40-or-more win seasons (1997–98, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, and 2011–12), and a franchise record 121-point season (2009–10).

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.[4]

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.

The 2007–08 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 whom would play a large role in leading the Capitals to their third Southeast Division Championship.

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

New York Islanders[edit]

On September 23, 2015 it was formally announced that McPhee joined the New York Islanders in the role of an alternate governor, Vice President and Special Advisor to the General Manager, Garth Snow.

Vegas Golden Knights[edit]

On July 13, 2016, McPhee left the Islanders organization after he was hired by Bill Foley, owner of the Las Vegas expansion franchise to be the new general manager of the team.[5]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1977–78 Guelph Platers OPJHL 48 53 57 110 150
1978–79 Bowling Green State U. CCHA 43 40 48 88 58
1979–80 Bowling Green State U. CCHA 34 21 24 45 51
1980–81 Bowling Green State U. CCHA 36 25 29 54 68
1981–82 Bowling Green State U. CCHA 40 28 52 80 57
1982–83 Tulsa Oilers CHL 61 17 43 60 145
1982–83 New York Rangers NHL 9 3 3 6 6
1983–84 New York Rangers NHL 9 1 1 2 11
1983–84 Tulsa Oilers CHL 49 20 28 48 133
1984–85 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 3 2 2 4 13
1984–85 New York Rangers NHL 49 12 15 27 139 3 1 0 1 7
1985–86 New York Rangers NHL 30 4 4 8 63 11 0 0 0 32
1986–87 New York Rangers NHL 21 4 4 8 34 6 1 0 1 28
1987–88 New Jersey Devils NHL 5 3 0 3 8
1988–89 Utica Devils AHL 8 3 2 5 31 3 1 0 1 26
1988–89 New Jersey Devils NHL 1 0 1 1 2
NHL totals 115 24 25 49 257 29 5 3 8 73

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
All-CCHA Second Team 1978–79 [6]
All-CCHA Second Team 1980–81 [6]
All-CCHA First Team 1981–82 [6]
AHCA West All-American 1981–82 [7]


  1. ^ "Las Vegas NHL team introduces George McPhee as GM". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2016-07-13. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  2. ^ "1983-84 Tulsa Oilers". 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  3. ^ Klein, J.Z. (May 16, 2012). "With Three Postseason Goals, Rangers' Kreider Ties Obscure Record". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  4. ^ Lapointe, Joe "ON HOCKEY; McPhee Gets One-Month Ban", The New York Times, October 1, 1999, accessed January 8, 2011.
  5. ^ "George McPhee named GM of Las Vegas expansion team". Washington Post. 2016-07-13. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  6. ^ a b c "CCHA All-Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Men's Ice Hockey Award Winners" (PDF). Retrieved June 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Award Created
CCHA Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Steve Mulholland
Preceded by
Jeff Pyle
CCHA Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Brian Hills
Preceded by
Neal Broten
Winner of the Hobey Baker Award
Succeeded by
Mark Fusco
Preceded by
David Poile
General Manager of the Washington Capitals
Succeeded by
Brian MacLellan
Preceded by
Position created
General Manager of the Vegas Golden Knights