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Have the Capitals already zeroed in on their next GM?

May 26, 2014, 9:11 AM EDT

Ted Leonsis AP

The Washington Capitals reportedly are close to locking down former Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz as their new bench boss, but the team still doesn’t have a new general manager.

As these types of situations go, hiring a new coach before a new GM is in place would be a rare move, but as Elliotte Friedman of CBC points out, the Capitals and owner Ted Leonsis have their field narrowed down and may have their man right under their nose.

The Capitals have talked to or interviewed around 10 people for the position including former GMs Craig Button, Jay Feaster, and Darcy Regier as well as Preds assistant GM Paul Fenton and Bruins assistant GM Don Sweeney.

The most curious one is Capitals assistant GM Brian MacLellan and he’s the guy Friedman hints could be the top choice.

“According to several sources, the current assistant GM was involved in the Trotz interviews and helped show him around the U.S. capital. It is unlikely someone on the way out would be so heavily involved. When this process started, his hiring would be a surprise. Not anymore.”

Promoting MacLellan, who was former GM George McPhee’s assistant, would be a curious move. After 17 years with the Caps, McPhee was fired along with coach Adam Oates on April 26. One advantage MacLellan has going for him right away, as Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com points out, is he has history with Trotz.

After names like Ray Shero and Mike Gillis have also popped up in the discussion, keeping the hiring in-house like this would raise some questions as to what kind of change will come about  in trying to make the Caps a Stanley Cup contender. With a big hiring like this, the Caps can’t afford a misstep.

  1. capsnbohs23 - May 26, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Oh good choice Teddy, hire someone to give us 17 more years of mediocrity. I pray he sells the team one of these years to someone who knows the sport so he can go focus on his precious wizards

  2. coltssteve - May 26, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    People vilify Dan Snyder in this town (DC), but there should be more vilification of Ted Leonsis for his allowing the goose that laid the golden egg (the caps) to die of mediocrity under an entirely too long tenure of George McPhee. I dropped my season tickets this year, and their post-season actions continue to confirm my view that this team is headed like a bullet train into the abyss of hockey mediocrity. Oh wait, they are already there.

  3. ludacrish05 - May 26, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Just to clarify on your article, McPhee wasn’t fired. McPhee didn’t sign a new contract and Oates was fired.

  4. wethog66 - May 26, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    I had a nice reply typed up. A nice rant really, but I am not a rant type of guy. I’ll just say this, the Caps SC prospects are suspect at best no matter who the new GM and HC are. Why?

    Dick Patrick is the NHL version of Vinny Cerrato.

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