Washington Capitals: Eleven Reasons To Be Thankful

9 of 12

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


The promotion of Brian MacLellan (from assistant GM to GM) after the departure of former General Manager George McPhee didn’t exactly strike me with confidence as ‘a good get’ for the Washington Capitals when it happened. Admittedly, I wanted a bigger name to step in. Maybe someone like Ray Shero, with some weight to their name, to grab the reins after we failed to make the playoffs in 2013 for the first time in seven seasons. It felt like we needed an overhaul.

What we got instead, at least initially, felt more like new coat of paint. We got the runner up. The assistant to the old guy. I wasn’t sure that a guy that was associated with the Martin Erat/Filip Forsberg trade debacle would make the kind of changes that the team needed to clear the hurdles that they repeatedly became ensnared in. Thankfully, I was wrong. Way, way wrong. Boy, I certainly misjudged MacLellan’s value to the organization.

MacLellan, along with assistant GM Ross Mahoney, Chris Patrick, Steve Richmond and their team of over 15 professional scouts have ensured that the failings of previous teams would not be repeated and that the future pipeline of incoming talent was strong. MacLellan did what was needed to bolster our defense into immediate improvement last season and has doubled-down in his second year with the team by bringing in the fresh talents of T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams.

We’ve seen the Washington Capitals become disjointed between coaches and management before. Not to pile onto the criticism of former coach Adam Oates, but it felt like the players that McPhee wanted were not aligned with what the team’s bench wanted put out onto the ice. As a result, the team suffered. Fans suffered. The franchise probably suffered. MacLellan has done a stellar job in correcting the errors of his predecessor and for that, he deserves our gratitude.

Personally, I feel like the team is in good hands with MacLellan. I think he’s balanced the need for the current agenda with our future interests well. We’ve landed most of our recent acquisitions at pretty reasonable prices and terms. Unlike the New York Rangers, who repeatedly empty the cupboards for another shot at a title – MacLellan has ensured that upcoming players like Kuznetsov, Burakovsky, Vrana, Barber, Stephenson and others are making their way into our roster.

Next: The Leaders