Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: george mcphee
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
For the first time in what feels like a lifetime, two of hockey’s most respected hockey minds are on the sidelines as the NHL regular season sits just one week away.
It’s a foreign feeling, to say the least, for George McPhee and Ray Shero -- the two former generals of that Washington-Pittsburgh rivalry.
Now both former general managers are taking a moment to reset and refresh, because you better believe they’ll be back.
"It’s the first time in this business I ever got fired," Shero told ESPN.com Wednesday in his first public comments since the Penguins relieved him of his duties last May. "But you always know in this business it’s going to happen. Not many people as GMs retire and get to stay in the organization like for example Paul Holmgren did in Philadelphia [Holmgren became the Flyers president after Ron Hextall became GM]. That was fantastic for him.
"So, for George and me, I mean if George had won a Cup or I had won another one, I’m sure we’d still be doing what we were doing with our respective teams. But that didn’t happen. We’re both in a good place. We’ve chatted a number of times, which has been good, he’s a real good guy and we’ve always had that mutual respect when we had those great games in that (Washington-Pittsburgh) rivalry."
I kind of "stole" the prime quotes from the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column for my Malik Report overnight entry, but I smiled broadly and nearly laughed out loud form the Blog Cave while reading Holland tell Matheson the same dang thing--almost word for word--that Babcock's been repeating to journalists and radio talk show hosts who can't or won't believe that Babcock will remain with Detroit when he can coach anywhere he wants after his contract's up a summer from now:
“I don’t believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence … I believe he’s happy in Detroit, but there are options,” said Holland, whose contract is also up next July, but will certainly get a new one from owner Mike Ilitch.
Holland has got the Red Wings into the playoffs in each of his 17 seasons. There were three Stanley Cup championships in 1998, 2002 and 2008, plus a Game 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009.
Late-season rallies were required to keep a 23-year playoff streak alive while the Red Wings integrated lots of young players — Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurko, Danny DeKeyser — into the lineup each of the last two years.
“Two years ago, we won our last four games to get into the playoffs. This year, we got in again (despite a terrible run of injuries),” said Holland. “Mike’s a tremendous coach, if not the best coach in the league, then one of the best.”
Matheson's main column focuses on Babcock and Holland, but he also included this nugget of wisdom from Ottawa Senators assistant coach Perry Pern (regarding Barry Trotz's attempts to get Alex Ovechkin to "buy in" to playing defense, as Matheson addressed in a Sunday afternoon column):
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, barry+trotz, detroit+red+wings, george+mcphee, julien+brisebois, ken+holland, kris+letang, marian+hossa, mike+babcock, montreal+candiens, perry+pearn, philadelphia+flyers, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, pk+subban, pk+subban, ray+shero, washington+capitals
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson kicked off his last regular-season slate of Hockey World columns with individual awards picks, and his pick for the Vezina Trophy is a surprising one:
Vezina Trophy (top goalie)
1. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado.
2. Tuukka Rask, Boston
3. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay
Had off-ice issues this year which weighed on him but very consistent work. Rask is best Finnish goalie right now, and they’ve got a full stable of good ones around the NHL. Bishop, nursing sore wrist as playoffs loom, is a six-foot-seven giant and a workhorse.
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Tags: antti+niemi, calgary+flames, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, evander+kane, george+mcphee, henrik+zetterberg, jonathan+ericsson, ken+holland, ryan+smyth, san+jose+sharks, semyon+varlamov, vezina+trophy, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets
What becomes of Peter Laviolette and how much heat is there now on Paul Holmgren?
[Darren] Dreger: For the moment Laviolette and his family are trying to stay below the radar. Obviously Laviolette is not happy with the way things ended with the Philadelphia Flyers so he may lay low. He wants to coach again in the NHL and given his resume it's believed that he will get another opportunity.
If things don't materialize in the NHL say before Christmas, I'm told Laviolette would consider going over to Europe and coaching there. It's not too far-fetched that Laviolette and his family would consider that.
As for Holmgren, he was looking for Ron Hextall. Since Holmgren took over as GM of the Flyers he has been constantly trying to lure Hextall from the Los Angeles Kings. There's no imminent danger for Holmgren and the belief is he will go out on his own terms and Hextall ultimately would be his successor.
from Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington,
Earlier this week McPhee met with the media to discuss this year’s team and the decisions he faces as training camp draws to a close.
On recent trade talk:
It’s just starting to pick up. I had a couple calls already. Things have tightened up in the league under the cap system. It’s been hard to make trades the last few years. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know that we’ll actually make a trade....
On what he would deem a successful season:
Well, I would call winning the Stanley Cup successful. The objective always is to make the playoffs and give yourself a chance. We’d love to go deep and we’d love to win a Cup. I read in the Washington Post where one of the Nats, it might have been [Ryan] Zimmerman, said it’s not easy being good. And he was right. We’ve been a real good team and we’d like to continue to be a real good team and give ourselves a chance to win. I think we have a good team with good people and we’ll battle like crazy to make the playoffs and then hope something good happens. As a manager that’s all you can do, keep putting good teams on the ice and hope you have some good fortune in the playoffs.
“Had some real good discussions with ownership over the last couple of days. They’re obviously not very happy. But they’ve been supportive. At times like this ownership can pile on and make things worse. Or ownership can say ‘How can we help and what we can do to make it better?’ And it’s been the latter. It’s been ‘How can we help, what can we do to make it better?’ And I provided some options and they provided some real fair direction, which was great. So that being said, if there’s something I can do to help the club out I will. But I’m not gonna do anything stupid.”
-George McPhee, GM of the Washington Capitals. More from McPhee's media scrum today by Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider.
Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and GM George McPhee talk about the Caps first round win over the Bruins.
from Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington,
CBC’s Chris Iorfida and Jesse Campigotto debate Boudreau’s future.
Lorida says “Yes”:
… take a look at Washington’s goals-against and penalty-killing rankings in comparison to 2008 to the end of the 2010 season, and you’ll see significant improvements toward a complete game.
Health is so critical to a Stanley Cup run; one is hard-pressed to name a recent team that won a championship with significant injury woes. Most teams have 12 to 15 players who suit up in all playoff games.
Washington looked like a Cup contender in February and March, but were hit with a number of injuries that took their toll.
Campigotto says “No”
I like Boudreau a lot (partly because he might be the most entertaining HBO character since Pauly Walnuts, or at least Leon Black), and I don’t like the NHL’s general trigger-happiness when it comes to firing coaches. But it feels like maybe Boudreau has taken this team as far as he can.
The guy has tried everything.
Of all five Southeast Division clubs, the Washington Capitals of 2010-11 will look the most like themselves from a year ago, having added only a spattering of depth to the lineup that captured the President’s Trophy last season. Alas, as the reigning division champ and still the clear-cut class of the division, if it ain’t broke, well, you know… But a first-round playoff exit thanks to Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens left an awful taste in the mouths of Bruce Boudreau’s squad, meaning improvements are in order this year for sure. (Or else?)
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+semin, braden+holtby, brendan+morrison, brian+fahey, brian+willsie, brooks+laich, bruce+boudreau, calder+cup, calder+trophy, d.j.+king, eric+belanger, eric+fehr, george+mcphee, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, jeff+schultz, joe+corvo, john+carlson, jose+theodore, karl+alzner, kyle+greentree, marcus+johansson, mathieu+perreault, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, mike+knuble, milan+jurcian, nhl+previews, nicklas+backstrom, scott+walker, semyon+varlamov, shaone+morrison, southeast+division, stefan+della+rovere, tomas+fleischmann
from Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post,
“He has the respect of his peers, there’s no question,” said New Jersey Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello, one of McPhee’s mentors.
There is also a complexity to McPhee that goes beyond having a job and doing it well. He has deep roots in his sport, a passion that belies his normally staid countenance: clenched jaw, uneasy smiles, all-business-all-the-time attitude. In his 52 years, McPhee has been a scorer, a student, a brawler, a builder. He might be tight as a sailor’s knot on game nights now, but only because he knows that once the puck drops he can no longer affect the outcome.
That tension has only increased this year. The Capitals had the best regular season record in the NHL last season, only to be ousted in the first round of the playoffs. With the team again among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, the pressure on McPhee and the team he has assembled to deliver a championship is enormous.
How McPhee got to this point is a product not only of who he is, but of how he got there, a series of hockey experiences that might have broken other men.
From Tarik El-Bashir in the Washington Post,
George McPhee leaned forward in his chair, squinted his eyes and focused on the performance that was unfolding before him. Except on this Wednesday night, the performers weren’t hockey players and McPhee, the general manager of the Washington Capitals, wasn’t sitting in a suite high above the ice. Instead, he was in a classroom at Georgetown University grading the midterm projects of 44 students in his graduate-level sports management class.
The Washington Capitals GM is teaching eight classes this semester. I think my favorite line in the article comes from one of McPhee’s students, who remarked “It’s like learning to play basketball from Michael Jordan” which, it occurs to me, might not be the best analogy… (edit: actually, I change my mind. I was thinking about that quote in the wrong way, equivocal to “...learning to play hockey from George McPhee.” Which obviously isn’t what was meant. Whoops!)
Anyway, great article—read the rest here.
Capitals GM George McPhee via Dan Rosen’s blog at NHL.com,
“Everybody tries to build their team the same way. You need scoring, good goaltending, defense, grit, physical play, speed, depth, leadership. The Flyers have done a good job of putting that together. We think we have to. It should make for a good series. I don’t think anybody has any idea who is going to win this series. You look at some of the other series and say if Team A plays its best and Team B plays its best, well Team A is going to win. I don’t think you can say that about this series. I don’t think anybody knows who is going to win this one.”
much more on McPhee and the Caps…
From Tarik El-Bashir at the Washington Post,
Trading for “Huet was the easiest decision because he played really well for a few years,” McPhee said. “It’s worked out the way we had hoped. He’s playing well and Olie is better rested and playing really well, too.
“We couldn’t be more impressed with how [Fedorov has] handled this situation,” he added. “How great he’s been with our young players, and how well he’s played. And Cooke is playing better than he played in Vancouver.”
more… *requires registration (free)