McPhee Now Longest Tenured Caps' GMPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
Yesterday (March 19) was somewhat of a landmark day in Washington Capitals franchise history. It was Caps general manager George McPhee’s 5,398th day in office, and that is one day more than his predecessor David Poile held down the post. McPhee was hired to replace Poile on the job on June 9, 1997. Poile was hired to replace the late Roger Crozier on Aug. 30, 1982. For nearly the last three decades, the Capitals have had just those two men in the general manager’s chair, the fewest number of GMs any NHL club has had over that span. Edmonton (Glen Sather, Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini) and New Jersey (Bill MacMillan, Max McNab and Lou Lamoriello) have each employed just three men in that post over the last 30 years. Washington has had only five general managers in its 37-year history; the Caps also employed Milt Schmidt and McNab as their general manager prior to Crozier, Poile and McPhee. Of the five men hired to serve as the Capitals’ general manager over the years, only one – Schmidt – previously held the same position with another NHL club before coming to the District. Schmidt was the Boston Bruins’ general manager from 1967-68 through 1971-72. Among all of the 30 current NHL GMs, McPhee is the third longest tenured. Only the Devils’ Lamoriello (1987-88 season) and Carolina’s Jim Rutherford (June 28, 1994) have been with their respective teams longer than McPhee. McPhee is just two days ahead of Buffalo’s Darcy Regier (June 11, 1997) and weeks ahead of Poile and Detroit’s Ken Holland (July 18, 1997) in terms of continuous seniority with the same team as an NHL general manager. Exactly one month after leaving Washington, Poile took over as the first-ever general manager of the expansion Nashville Predators. He has held the position ever since. Poile’s father, Norman “Bud” Poile, was the first-ever general manager of both the expansion Philadelphia Flyers and the expansion Vancouver Canucks. Under McPhee’s guidance, the Capitals have posted a 543-438-141-17 record in 1,139 games, right up through Monday night’s 5-3 win over the Red Wings in Detroit. He has presided over six division title-winning teams, four 100-point teams, and one Presidents’ Trophy-winning club. I still remember interviewing McPhee for the first time in the summer of 1997, and him telling me then that Washington would become a hockey town once it won a Stanley Cup. That elusive Cup is still off in the horizon somewhere, but we in the District do definitely now live in a hockey town nonetheless. It’s good that George was able to celebrate the day with an important win in a tough building, and it was just the third time during his tenure that the Caps were able to deliver a road win in Detroit.
Last season, the Washington Capitals netted 46 power play goals in 263 power play opportunities. The Caps clicked at a 17.5% rate with the extra man, tied for 15th in the NHL. That 2010-11 total of 263 power play chances is the fewest in a full season in the Capitals’ franchise history. The total