By Jake Russell
The Washington Capitals announced Saturday morning that they have fired head coach Adam Oates and will not retain general manager George McPhee.
After missing the NHL playoffs for the first since 2007, changes were expected.
Since McPhee was hired in June of 1997, the Capitals have compiled a record of 613-488-78-108.
“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,” Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said in the team’s press release. “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.”
Oates took over the Caps prior to a strike-shortened 2012-2013 season that saw Alex Ovechkin earn NHL MVP after leading the Caps to their sixth straight playoff appearance. However, Washington yet again fell in their third seven-game first round series in that six-year span.
The Capitals finished the 2013-2014 season with a record of 38-30-14 and no playoff appearance. The team will now be searching for its fourth head coach since 2011 and it’s sixth general manager in franchise history.
“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,” Leonsis said in the release. “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.”