Photo: Jacquelyn Martin

Today was a weird day. I’ve run into George McPhee many times, both as a tiny Caps fan and as an adult blogger. I really like him. And I loved Adam Oates as a player.

But, obviously, the Washington Capitals needed a change – the trade requests and the revolving door of coaches suggested serious dysfunction in the organization. Today, majority owner Ted Leonsis and team president Dick Patrick hit the reset button, firing GMGM and Oates.

While some readers are openly celebrating the firings (which I totally get), this is also a painful moment for the people involved– most notably Leonsis and Patrick, whose decisions led the team down this path.

Both men spoke to the media on Saturday and you could tell it was not a press conference they enjoyed.

There wasn’t a lot of news in their words, but their faces spoke volumes.


Ted describes the synergy he’d like the new GM and coach to have.

Dick Patrick stares into the middle distance.

Ted smiles. Dick does not compute smile.


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  • Thomas Conner

    Let’s be real, the reason they fired Oates was his unwillingness to change things up and do commercials.


  • Lawrence

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I can certainly see how some of those player interviews went.

    Brouwer: “We need less russians!”
    Ovi: “I just want to win! I score 50. I am what I am.”
    Laich: “Can we rehire Hunter?”
    Beagle: “Can we keep Oates?”
    Backstrom: “We have to be better. It starts with players.”
    Green: “Yeah..uh..idk..yeah..I think…well..yeah..exactly.”
    Ward: “No idea, but GOO RAVENS” *chest bumps chimera whose outside waiting to get lunch together.
    Grabo: Thinks this organization is a wreck, but says, “I just want to play for a coach I like. Oh and I need little bit big money in my pocket. And no more rides with ovi please.”

    Did I miss any obvious ones?

  • Capper63


  • Capper63

    Ovi: “Zinetula Bilyaletdinov , Adam Oates… Oleg Znarok will make hat trick!”

  • Bugs Fire

    Kuzya: “I am new here, don’t ask me. It’s like curling, but the rock is bigger than the puck. That’s why the joke is.”
    Wilson: “My knuckles hurt… Can I please play?”

  • Bugs Fire

    Oh yeah, and the ghost of Erat sent his regards.

  • OlietheGoalie

    I like Ted. I feel for the dude. It was probably a rough day for him. Hopefully this has taught him a lot and he hires someone that makes a solid core instead of “shootshootshootshootshootshoot…”

  • alchemistmuffin

    These facial expression during press conference, I just have a bad feeling about the future of the team. They may not had planned this out just in case, and came out of nowhere. It feels like even Teddy was unprepared to make this kind of announcement…..

    This might mean more pain for fans up ahead.


  • BPThomas

    I forgot how awesome that commercial was. Thanks

  • Diller M

    I agree about Ted, totally a loyal guy, proboblyl very difficult for him. But I def want a shoot first mindset, much more fun to watch.


    The real, most important “coach” who was lost in all of this mess was Dave Prior. I guy instrumental in the drafting and development of every caps goalie from Semyon Varlamov to Phillip Grubauer. That is probably the single biggest loss from Oates regime.

  • Mike Logan

    Great point.

  • sheena dunn

    TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!!! I want him back!

  • VeggieTart

    Holtby: I just want to play my game and help the team and whatnot.


    Saturday April 26th, 2014, will be forever known as “Mcphreedom Day” (Great name FPON). A day which every caps fan around the world will remember. A day this franchise rid itself tyrannical and oppressive regime which has been a dark hole killing itself from the inside for the last 16 years. A day of reckoning.

    The GBB started this war, at first alone. We suffered many causalities but persevered and eventually came koolaiders as reinforcements. Months of fierce battles raged until finally, today, a very small greek man, who in history was once larger than the sun, swooped in and delivered the final blow.

    The dark side has won. MCPHREEDOM IS OURS!

  • Mike Logan

    Brower was a classic – but they’re all good!

  • Roman Z.

    Hate Brouwer!

  • Capper63

    Brouwer and Beagle could have probably been the same.

  • Sam

    Ovi: “I scoar 50 goals, it my job, but not for shootout, 5 on 5, or outside my regular spot.”

  • Chris Cerullo

    “Don’t ask us about our interview process because we don’t feel like letting you do your jobs”

  • Gregory Burnett

    I think it was more…I think the way this has played out elsewhere sucks as a process so we aren’t doing that. Speculate all you want , ask questions about the process but don’t ask for the candidate list or expect us to update you every time we take a coffee break in between interviews.

  • Austin

    Ahh holy sh$t I just laughed so hard at that damn thank you for making my morning

  • Ben Reed

    Seriously. The guy is an NHL goalie machine.

  • Jalabar

    I love ethe one person (I dunno who) who asked Ted whether the team had gelled the way he had hoped it would. Stupid question, as Ted’s response made clear (“Obviously not.”). Then silence while every other one of the reporters felt smug/sorry for the asker.

  • Capper63

    The one that got me was the jerk who claimed that ted had proclaimed the team flawless, and then ignored Ted’s clarification as if it was just semantics on his part.
    If you are going to be a journalist: GET PEOPLES WORDS/QUOTES RIGHT! It is kind of important. Don’t change them to suit your agenda, and expect the person to just play along with your new alternate reality.
    Go old school and whip out your notepad so you can read them exactly as stated if need be.

  • Capper63

    Exactly… it was more. It was/is very thoughtful towards the candidates, and also not wanting to turn it into a 3-ring circus like Dan Snyder’s dinner meeting or plane rides during FA period.


    I don’t think that’s right. Regardless, I don’t have much confidence in Dick or Ted to make the right hire. They should get a president of hockey ops in here and let him make the choices.

    That comment about hiring a coach before a GM absolutely rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t think you should ever consider hiring a coach before a GM. 2nd rate organizations do that like the football team in this city.


    Excuse me? You are calling Sky Kerstien a jerk? Sky is the only reporter in this town who had the balls to call out management and coaching for what it was BEFORE the season ended. He has balls unlike everyone else in that room who danced around with questions and didn’t ask the tough ones.

    Ted leonsis has made NUMEROUS idiot statements during his ownership of the caps, Sky Kerstien could have brought anyone of those up. Don’t hate on Sky. He’s the best this town has in terms of a reporter who is not afraid to ask the tough questions.

    @jalabar that guy who asked the stupid question about “gelling” was Fienstien I think. The same lazy irresponsible “journalist” who published an article saying the caps should keep mcphee and the reason the caps are doing bad is they didn’t get rick nash.

  • Capper63

    Getting people’s quotes wrong is “irresponsible”, and blowing off their correction as irrelevant makes it a jerk move.
    You seem to think that any journalist who lights up a torch and grabs a pitchfork and writes with an agenda to appeal to the masses is a great journalist, while those who try to remain balanced, and maintain some objectivity are morons etc. You are certainly free to have that opinion, but I strongly disagree.

  • Capper63

    That almost seemed like Patrick’s Al Haig moment: “I’m in charge here!”


    First of all, don’t implicate me in your vulgar comments. I did not call anyone a moron. That’s you.

    Second, what did ted reply to sky with? “I said this team has no weaknesses”? How is that comment any “better” than the original “this team is flawless”? Ted was out to lunch then and he’s still out to lunch now. He lied to his fanbase and continued doing that. When a reporter tried to call him out, he got defensive. No one was Mcphee’s puppet. Ted thinks he has an understanding on how to run a franchise’s hockey operations but he really doesn’t have a clue, again this is a common theme. He has never fired or hired a GM of all the years he’s owned the wiz or caps. That speaks volume about his operation of a franchise.

    Finally, Sky was hardly doing any “dirty work”. He was asking the tough questions which no one in this town has the balls to do. This is not a real hockey market. So reporters are more worried about lockeroom access than actually doing their job with honesty, transparency and accurately. The other reports in this town are hardly “balanced and maintain some objectivity”. To maintain objectivity means you cannot deceive your audience or ignore the problems with the team just so you can get in bed with Ted. Go look at the relationship reporters have with their teams in New York, Toronto, Boston, Philly, Montreal and Vancouver. That’s true reporting. The media is supposed to hold the team accountable. They act as the medium of communication between the fans and the franchise.

  • Capper63

    No, you didn’t call him a moron, just “clueless” and “out to lunch”, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. So, I see that exact quotes do matter when it pertains to you and what you say. Interesting.
    We are at an impasse. I strongly disagree with your entire outlook. I will always enjoy my sport teams and the spirit of athletic competition, and I will always give my appreciation to those who give their blood, sweat and tears to build, and not to those who toil to tear things down. Entirley different outlooks.

  • Play nice, guys…


    This guy called a guy who you’ve had numerous discussions with and talk with on podcasts a jerk. I’ve had discussions with Sky numerous times, he’s far from a “jerk”. He’s a very classy individual who respects others opinions and isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

    I’ll leave it at that as its obvious we are venturing off the topic of hockey.

  • Capper63

    And those of us who have met GMGM know that he is not the evil overlord, cancerous tumor to the orginization, and incompetent buffoon your posts make him out to be.
    I made one mild comment, while you have made it your agenda.
    Just defending myself with this post. I am done with the topic. You may have the last word.

  • Mike


  • Moskillz76

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Dick Patrick also step aside as President and let someone else do the job. He’s just as guilty as GMGM for the teams recent decline.

  • I have all the respect for Sky Kerstein. He is the only reporter (until Katie jumped onboard the dying train) to call it the way WE SAW IT – the RIGHT WAY – that McPhee and Oates had to go. And even now Ted has admitted – AS WE HAVE – that Ovi is part of the problem.
    Soon it will be midnight out here in socal.
    Time to slice the neck on a FRESH GOAT hope Leonsis gets it right in hiring the next GM.

  • McPhee WAS one of the bottom third in NHL general managers. Now he is gone.
    Thank God, Thank GOD, THANK GOD!
    I doubt any NHL executive is ever STUPID enough to hire McPhee again; if they do, they get what they deserve.

  • And now, the further adventures of Martin of Erat.

    “I am home!”
    “My beloved!”
    “I have returned from the desert!”
    “Indeed, husband! And have you heard the news?
    “The news?”
    “Yes! It from King Ted of Pocketsville himself!”
    “What, pray tell, has King Ted proclaimed?”
    “Well, husband, to the surprise of many, both Lord George and Sir Adam have been beheaded!”
    “Nay, wife, it cannot be true!”
    “But, husband, indeed, it *is* true.”
    “Why the sad face, husband?”
    “Oh…well…no reason.”
    “Yes, wife?”
    “I realized, as the time went on, that you suffered greatly under Lord George’s and Sir Adam’s reign.”
    “I never said as much…”
    “Indeed, husband. But I knew you were suffering. Do you now feel that you have ben redeemed?”
    “It is up to the Lord, wife, to make such judgments. For myself, I shall merely continue my holy quest, for the Cup, in the desert.”
    “Martin of Erat, you are a great man.”
    “I shall leave history to judge, my wife.”


  • Diller M

    hes a minority owner… I think it gets a little tricky

  • Yeah, exactly.

  • And now, an all-new, “At The McPhees'”

    “Mister McPhee?”
    “Speaking. Who’s this?”
    “This is Bob, sir, from the Eric Belanger Moving Company. And how are you, today, sir?”
    “I’m…uh…Eric Belanger has his own moving company?”
    “He does now, sir, ever since he was under your employ.”
    “Well…um…why are you calling?’
    “We understand you are unemployed, Mister McPhee, and might be moving.”
    “Yes, but, I have no idea where I might be moving to.”
    “Yes, sir, we understand. The Eric Belanger Moving Company specializes in these kinds of moves.”
    “You do?”
    “Yes, sir. We load your furniture on a truck and drive it around the country, in circles, just like Micheal Nylander might do, until a general manager somewhere gives you a contract.”
    “That…sounds…like a nightmare.”
    “Yes, sir, just like you forced Eric Belanger to endure.”
    “But I never meant…”
    “Yes, sir, whether you did or didn’t, you did.”
    “Does Eric still hate me?”
    “No. sir, not since his moving company made millions moving inconsiderate executives.”
    “Yes, sir. So can we sign you up?”
    “I’ll get back to you. I have to make some deals first before I commit.”
    “Of course, Mister McPhee.”
    “Good night to you, sir.”

    starring George Clooney as George and with Morgan Freeman as the moving company salesman

    written, created and produced by tominsocal1


  • Like tricky dicky?

  • And now, an all-new, “Life With Ted”

    “Yes, dear?”
    “Are you counting your money, again?”
    “Of course, dear, how else would I pass a Sunday evening?”
    “Oh, well, I thought we might renew our vows.”
    “Renew? Did you say, ‘renew’?”
    “Yes, Ted, I said I thought we might renew our vows. What do you think?”
    “Well, what I think is, renewing is the greatest way on earth to show your support! I’m just so pleased you want to renew!”
    “So how should we do it, Ted? Go back to Niagra Falls?”
    “No, I think I should just sell you tickets.”
    “Of course, dear. Renewing means buying tickets! Tickets, tickets, tickets! It means, I sell more tickets! Rock the Red! Buy tickets!”
    “No, Ted, I was talking about renewing our vows. Our wedding vows.”
    “Can we sell tickets?”
    “Of course not, it’s personal.”
    “But if we can’t sell tickets, why bother?”
    “My mother was right. You’re hopeless, Ted.”
    “You’re mother never bought a ticket in her life. What does she know?”
    “Good night, Ted.”
    “Good night, dear. And if you’ll quit bothering me, I can resume counting our money…eight hundred twenty-six million one hundred seventeen; eight hundred twenty-six million one hundred eighteen; eight hundred…”

    starring Danny DeVito as Ted and Glenn Close as Mrs L

    written, created and produced by tominsocal1


  • MuzzMuzzington

    I think the sadness is in part due to the idea that an era is coming to an end. What they thought would work, just isn’t.

    I don’t want to see Ovi in another sweater, ever… but I got this feeling our new GM will shop him to try to get a top pair defender that could elevate this team to the next level. Look at the last few cup winners.

    Chicago – Keith, Los Angeles – Doughty, Boston – Chara, Pittsburgh – Scuderi?, Detroit – Lidstrom

    Aside from Pittsburgh, these teams all have perennial candidates for the Norris trophy. Great in shifting play towards the offense while not being as big of liability as a player like Mike Green.

    Ovi to be dealt for Shea Weber? I’m not 100% sold this will be the best, since I love Ovechkin.

  • Jessica J

    I have been wondering about his role in the redo of Bruce’s coaching. I think his face / his inability to smile indicate his responsibility / his culpability. It would make sense to me that Leonsis went along w/ the judgments of Patrick and McPhee. He did not block them when they made changes that devolved the team. Thus, Leonsis looks sad and Patrick looks pissed.


    Semin (via interpreter): “See. Not all fault of me.”