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Imagine Wayne Gretzky Running The Washington Capitals

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN recently reported...

Despite repeated reports linking Wayne Gretzky to Washington, it doesn’t sound as though The Great One and the Capitals are a match at this point. Whether it’s for president of hockey operations or another high-end executive job, at this hour, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Which is too bad, because No. 99 in that kind of role would be a great asset.

But John Feinstein of The Washington Post wants Gretzky in Washington,

The Capitals will be entering their 40th season in the fall. They have never won a Stanley Cup. They can go out and hire a standard-issue general manager and allow him to hire one of the very good coaches currently available. Come September everyone will talk about new beginnings and fresh approaches, and none of it will guarantee the team will be any better than the talented ones that fell short in the playoffs from 2008 to 2013.

But maybe instead Leonsis should think about what Gretzky — again, if he wants to work — can mean to a hockey franchise. Do you think there’s a bright young hockey executive or coach out there who wouldn’t want to work for Gretzky?

Maybe Gretzky would hire Mark Messier as coach. Do you think that would bring some fire to the locker room? Do you think Alex Ovechkin would ignore his back-checking responsibilities with Gretzky in the press box and Messier in the locker room?

There’s also the free agent issue. One of the sillier reasons George McPhee was fired as GM was the bleating of player agents who weren’t allowed in the locker room right after games. How many would voice such complaints to Gretzky’s face?

Do you think free agents will want to play for Gretzky? Do you think the Caps wouldn’t become one of the talked-about franchises in hockey the day Gretzky takes over?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky


Evilpens's avatar

I’m trying to think what has he done to make a good president of hockey operations?

Posted by Evilpens on 05/23/14 at 10:31 AM ET

aerodude's avatar

Imagine how players would listen to 99 if he were a coach, imagine how many Cups he would have….. Oh he didn’t do that well as a coach? Hmm…

Posted by aerodude on 05/23/14 at 12:13 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Honestly, what is a “President of Hockey Operations” and how is that any different than a General Manager?  Wings front office does not have a “President of Hockey Operations” at all like Linden in VAN, Shanny in TOR, and Francis in CAR.  They have a Business Operations that is related to the Hockey Operations, but I don’t think they make any decisions on the hockey side of the business.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 05/23/14 at 01:55 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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