Photo: Bruce Bennett
With George McPhee out, the Capitals have a vacancy at the GM slot. But all the buzz in recent days has been about a position higher than that: the newfangled President of Hockey Operations, which sounds to me like general manager, but what do I know?
I’m sure you’ve heard the scuttlebutt. Word on the street is the Caps might bring in one of the biggest names in sports to become the big boss in Arlington. A real pro star, if you catch my drift.
I’m here to say that’s a real good idea. Actually, it’s a great one.
The Caps have a reputation for rummaging through the alumni lists when staffing up. That hasn’t worked, obviously, but looking beyond the familiar borders this time might serve them well.
So too would upping the star power. I mean, this name is one of the biggest ever to play any game anywhere. His name is synonymous with work ethic and longevity and integrity. He started his career as hot as anyone ever did, and he went on establish himself as one of the most respected men ever to suit up.
And those blue eyes. I mean, come on.
At age 53, he’s seen enough to know how to run a team. He’s even had first-hand experience– but for whatever reason, doing the job at the highest level has eluded him.
Now look at all the things he’s got in common with the Great Eight, Alex Ovechkin. I think Alex could learn a lot from this potential new hire: his work ethic, his wisdom as a leader, his experience in dealing with an under-performing franchise. I can’t think of a better mentor for Ovi.
So when I saw this man, this wonderful, wonderful man, attending a Caps game recently, I have to admit I got excited. Imagining this titan of the sports world, with his history of winning championships and his wealth of personal and professional connections, guiding the Washington Capitals– that just seems perfect.
The Caps should totally hire Cal Ripken.