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George McPhee nominated for GM of the year (updated)

George McPhee was nominated for the first annual General Manager of the year award, the NHL announced moments ago. The other finalists are Phoenix's Don Maloney and Nashville's David Poile.

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

From the league's story:

McPhee and Poile didn't have to do as much tinkering as Maloney, but each did enough to produce memorable results. The Capitals won the Presidents' Trophy with 121 points and the Predators got back into the playoffs in the Western Conference after a one-year hiatus.
McPhee signed Mike Knuble in the offseason to provide some of the net-front presence the Capitals were lacking. He joined with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin to form one of the best lines in the NHL, as they combined for 263 points.
Jason Chimera was brought on board via a trade from Columbus shortly after Christmas and he turned into the perfect third-liner. Joe Corvo, Eric Belanger and Scott Walker were added at the deadline for Brian Pothier, prospects and draft picks.
The Capitals surprisingly flamed out early in the playoffs, but they led the League in every important offensive category, including goals-per game (3.82) and power play (25.2 percent).
McPhee has set this roster up for the long haul, too, as none of their main core players have hit their 27th birthday, goalies Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth are each 22, and the Hershey Bears remain in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

The award will be presented at the Stanley Cup final.

Update: From the NHL's official release: Voting for this new award was conducted among the 30 Club General Managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 6, 2010; 12:20 PM ET
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Good lord, could you make an award I care less about?

Posted by: mikebrady1 | May 6, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Bashers will be out in force on this one!

Posted by: PhilR | May 6, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse


This is laughable. How about "GM who couldn't find his a$$ with both hands"?

Something like that would be more fitting.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 6, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I think he deserves it as does Maloney....he made some great moves in getting Knuble and Chimera I added a lot to the team. As for the winner getting it at the Cup Finals...not quite the hardware we had in mind....obviously not the results we wanted but to grab the first ever presidents trophy...that's quite a jump from three years or so ago...

Posted by: rdiehljr | May 6, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Nah, the Phoenix GM is a lock.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 6, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I like GMGM's chances on this. I think the Yotes had a good run, but the Caps numbers in the regular season should carry GMGM. Good for him.

Okay, the regularly scheduled bashing can continue.

Posted by: _Mark | May 6, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

This nomination should enlighten all to the intelligence level of our GMGM & BB bashers. McPhee is one of the top 5 GM's in the league. It's good to see that he gets recognized for building a hockey power in DC.

Posted by: thomas20 | May 6, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

George has done well getting us this far however, it's time to get over the dam hump already! Passing on Pronger, despite the cost, was a major mistake and I wasn't impressed with Knuble nor Chimera in the playoffs. It's not George's fault Semin nor Greene played remotely well either but they were out-coached by a team with a well executed plan. Shows you what players looking great on paper and team with a Pres. Cup means at playoff time. Nothing new...

Posted by: kevfahey | May 6, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Passing on Pronger was not a mistake. The cost was too great and the Flyers will be feeling it for years to come. With him, they made it 4 games further than the Caps.

I agree that we need to win the Cup now, but I also believe he has set up a team to be periennial favorites for a while.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 6, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, plus why should we take seriously the opinion of person who can't spell the players names correctly?

Posted by: CapsNut | May 6, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: instinct227 | May 6, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Semin on this - BB deserves the lion's share of the credit for the turnaround. For doubters, I'd simply point to GMGM's W-L record with and without BB at the helm.

I'd also seriously question some of the draft choices [ie. Boyd Gordon and E Fehr in the first round, Erskine in the 2nd, and even Alzner as #5 overall - that would be one spot ahead of where Peter Forsberg was drafted].

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 6, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

@thomas - his fellow GMs decide the nominees! Gimme a break, this award is a joke. Harry Sinden won this thing - more than once, IIRC - which should tell you something.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 6, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

gmgm ov green all laughable they'll nominate semin for the selke.................

Posted by: dshowler | May 6, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Good for GMGM, but not getting past round 1 is a huge negative. And good for David Poile doing well in Mashville.However, Maloney's task in Phoenix was a difficult one; he's the clear winner.

Posted by: Hattrik | May 6, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow, two uses of the word "laughable" in the same thread.

GMGM, Ovi, and Green are all deserving candidates. The regular season was a smashing success and some of the indivual awards are possible because of it. Perhaps they don't win, but being considered is not laughable. You people are way to jaded and bitter.

Posted by: _Mark | May 6, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

what a freaking joke....sorry but you lucked out with drafting ovie. without ovie this team is crap. 1 playoff series win. questionable acquisitions this year.

keep dreaming mcphee

Posted by: yoooooooo | May 6, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Is this a big JOKE!?

He would get my vote IF...

He trades Mike Green
He trades Mike Green
He trades Mike Green
He trades Mike Green
He trades Flash
He trades Brendan Morrison

Posted by: riceldi | May 6, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse


FYI: Erskine was selected by the Dallas Stars in round 2 #39 overall 1998 NHL Entry Draft

Posted by: FrankM73 | May 6, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

This is hilarious.

All about money & politics, nothing to do with hockey, as it relates to Caps GM.

Worst GM in hockey, more-so with the epic failure this year.

Posted by: Cheef | May 6, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse


Why is it a joke?

The GM builds the team
The Coach (der) coaches the players
and the player win or lose the game

last I checked, we we're the winningest team in the NHL last season and hit a hot goalie in Halak... how exactly does that make the entire season a failure? or GMGM's trades, drafts and the like a failure?

He didn't luck out drafting Ovechkin, and he pulled Schultz, Green, Backstrom, Semin, Gordon, Varlamov, Alzner, Carlson, and others with a variety of selection ranges in the 1st and 2nd round.

Has he failed? Yes!

just be happy we draft better than the Red Wings? Oh what did he say? the mighty wings? Yes, they have sucked

go read about all the other teams that suck at drafting... it's a craps shoot most of the time... the fact that he's pulled so many players out of the draft, via trades and FA is proof of his immesne value as a GMGM.

personlly, he's top 5 from my POV... but hey, what do i know about hockey!

Posted by: FrankM73 | May 6, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@Frank - again, his record with, and without, BB at the helm.

I don't get your point about the Wings, at all - Zetterberg in the 7th round, Datsyuk in the 6th, Lidstrom in the 3rd? Seriously, and you point to Alzner at #5 - overall - when Peter Freaking Forsberg didn't go until #6, overall?

Sorry, I do not buy the GMGM hype, and I have been following this team for a long time.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 6, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

the Wings have been the best and the most consistent organaization in hockey for 15 years, the Caps have a LONG way to go before being mentioned in the same category...

how about getting past the first round in 6 games or less first?

Posted by: joek443 | May 6, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Why does everyone keep crying about the Alzner pick..... I know it's way too early to determine busts from the good picks, but I see no standouts that the Caps missed out on after him:

Posted by: F_Danny_Boy | May 6, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

@ Timbo:
How does Forsberg going #6 in 1991 have to do with where Alzner went in 2007?? There's no comparison there. Every draft class is different, so your comparing ping-pong balls to bowling balls. Besides, Alzner is still a developing 21 year old defenseman.

GMGM never drafted Erskine. Furthermore, Erskine IS 2nd round talent. In one of your prior posts, you also said that GMGM drafted Steckel in the 1st round. LA drafted him there.

You don't know anything about the draft, so stop posting about how GMGM passed on the likes of Lidstrom and Zetterberg!

As for Sinden winning the award in the past, how is that possible when this is the first time it's being awarded??? You are a truly knowledgable. Too bad there are not more like you on these boards. Wait.......

Posted by: thomas20 | May 6, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse


I can respect a difference of opinion... but here are some specific draft examples are below, pros and cons:

2006: Drafting Backstrom when he could have gone for Kessel... Backstrom is by far the Best PPG player out of that draft!
Also, Varlamov, Neuvirth, Bouchard and Perreault. The last three have shown to be good in the AHL.
2004: Ovechkin, Schultz, Green, Bourque, Lepisto, Gordon (I think he could make the roster next year)
2002: Eminger, Semin, Gordon... Semin and Gordon still on team, both fill good roles

the entire 2005 draft: botching the 2 first round picks... and every team passed on Stastny, taken 44th overall... there's your second line center right there
2003: could have had Getzlaf, and Fehr will likely never hit the 40 goal mark, but no one else in this draft!
2001: drafted Oduya but traded before given a shot!

now the mighty wings...
2004: 3rd round-Franzen
2003: 2nd-Howard
2002: 2-Hudler, 2-Fleischmann, 3-Filppula
2000: 1-Kronwall
1999: 7th-Zetterberg
1998: 8th-Datysuk

yes, they found a couple of gems but all in all their drating is average when looking at their draft position.

It's the deadline deals they make, plus having a Scotty Bowman, that equaled those cups...

that and their 1989 draft of Sillinger, Lidstrom, Federov, and Constantinov that helped set the core...

much like the Caps with Ovechkin, Schultz and Green have helped set the core here...

the end result, all GM's agree it's a crap shoot as you are projecting kids talents into adulthood...

I do like GMGM's drafting... and am quite positive about the future... :-)

hope you are having a great day!

Posted by: FrankM73 | May 6, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

take a look at Lou and the Devils drafting... particularly 1990... 10 out of 14 draft picks played 100+ NHL games... that's just bloody amazing...

Agreed! The caps have a long way to go before being mentioned like the Wings... just saying the GMGM is doing a good job. I mean, he could have not picked Schultz and Green and could have picked Fistric and Rogers... then where would we be? something about a creek and a paddle!

Posted by: FrankM73 | May 6, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

someone is delusional. GMGM has never won anything.

Posted by: doughless | May 6, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

To all the GMGM haters I AM SO LOVING THIS. Go on, say whatever you want, really. Just remember, most of us will take the opinions of the people that actually run the NHL more seriously than whatever you say, no matter how clever. Deal with it. Now, I'm going to go smoke a nice cigar in honor of Mr McPhee.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | May 6, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse


keep dreaming. Im glad 1 playoff win is ok with you. your a typical dc fan. You probably stood and clapped at the end of game 7 and tipped your hat to the players raising their sticks.

You think flyers fans would be ok with mchpee, nope. he would have been long gone. People have to be held accountable, and mcphee has had ten years.

Let me ask you this. when do we fire him? After an early exit next year, how about the year after, maybe the year after that?

Posted by: yoooooooo | May 6, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

HaHaHa. McPhee should be awarded a PINK SLIP.

Posted by: festus75 | May 6, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

1 PO win isn't ok with me

LOL @ your presumption that I make enough to go to games... too funny... no, I work 2 jobs and was sick to my stomach for days

in the end, BB should have adjusted the PP and put 2 in front and everything should have been funneled through Backstrom (since they covered Ovie 1 on 1 on the PP)

we didn't adjust!

I think the Flyers haven't won a Cup since 1974-75 so what exactly is your point? How many GM's have they been through? That's the point! When you get one who does this well with drafting and doesn't sell the farm/future for a shot at the cup, you keep him...

I was disappointed, but given how well the Farm system is stocked at all positions and how young we are now, I'm not worried about the long haul...

Posted by: FrankM73 | May 7, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand this award.

The Phoenix coach will probably win the coach of the year award because he did so much without much expectation.

Their GM certainly could not have predicted his offseason moves of the last 2 years would have got them 107 points.....? Its fluky.

With David Poile his team competes every year regardless of salary constraints. Did he do anything THIS YEAR to make his team better other than avoid the pressure of trading away pieces at the deadline?

As for GM GM - he has been drafting for this team since 2004. The team did great in the season this year, but he probably made mistakes in pushing them over the top....but over 6 years he has been noteworthy -

I don't believe a good GM's job is done over one season.

Some of the guys will get fired in the next 5 years and some yahoos will take over and get credit for what they built when they finally win.

I guess if you do exactly what you should do - sound business deals - No Nylanders'..etc should get credit but what about guys who keep their team at the top of the league every year?

The list of eligible candidates for this award should be shortened before they vote. It should go back over a few seasons.

Having said that the Colorado Avs GM should win this year. They sucked last year, Acquired Craig Anderson as goalie (best move) and drafted in the third spot and probably got the best impact player in last years draft (best pick). Also hired Joe Sacco as coach (good move) and acquired Peter Mueller at trade deadline when Phoenix of all teams gave up on him! Best acquisition until Mueller got injured.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 7, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

How can a GM who has failed to bring in a playoff-caliber goalkeeper be considered for such recognition? The team can't even make it out of the first round, losing miserably to the 8th seed!

GM of the year for barely treading water?

Posted by: kemp13 | May 7, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

this is kind of like Obama being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by: vermontcaps | May 7, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Peace prize, eh...? LOL
He obviously neglected to shore up the defense; both on the blue line and forwards. Everybody, and I mean everybody, including of course the opposition, knew that was our weakness. So what did he get? Another puck-moving defenseman, and no goalie. Knuble? well, he helped out Ovie and Backstrom, but again, it was for offense.
GM of the Year? No way.

Posted by: scmonty1 | May 7, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little late commenting on this, but here;'s my take:
Maybe they should re-purpose the award, and say it goes to "the general managers who brings a team from lousy to pretty good, but can't get them over the hump" Then both McPhee and Poile would be legitimate nomninees.
Before the seeason, EVERYBODY knew the Caps needed 2 things: a shut-down D and a 2nd-line center. His answers were Corvo (did he shut down anything other than his own offense?) and BMo (whose drop-off the second half could have been predicted based on his last few years). 'Nuff said. Any of the last 3 years, I would have said McPhee was worthy, because he did a good job building this team. But rewarding his performance this year? I don't get it.
On another topic, that has appeared elsewhere and here: I keep hearing "this team just needs to mature". Does anybody out there really think Green, Semin, Flash CAN mature? A few days ago, we heard Greenie whining, basically blaming his lousy playoff performance on fans and the media, because we had the audacity to wish he'd improve his defense. He sounded like a little child: nothing is his fault.
Also, this idea that you have to lose before you win: the Pens didn't seem to need that.

Posted by: wotansdad | May 7, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

It seems a little strange to have an annual award for a position that needs to have a longer term focus. The best moves a GM makes may not be obvious, or pay off, for several years.

Posted by: miseaujeu | May 7, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

You can definitely question his moves... but hey, I will take anything he does as opposed to the team down the street. You know, the one that doesn't even believe in building through the draft and is happy to post a .500 record for the regular season.

Posted by: F_Danny_Boy | May 8, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

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