The long-suffering Washington Capitals finally won a Stanley Cup Thursday night in Las Vegas. In house at T-Mobile Arena was Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee, who watched Alexander Ovechkin, a player he drafted 14 years ago while working the same job in Washington, lift the trophy, exercising playoff demons of the past, ones that cost him his job in 2014.
If anything, McPhee is named general manager of the year after putting together an expansion team that reached the Stanley Cup Final, but glancing over at the opposite bench, many of the players who made an impact in Washington's title run were McPhee selections.
Ovechkin (2004), Nicklas Backstrom (2006), John Carlson and Braden Holtby (2008), Dmitri Orlov (2009), Evgeny Kuznetsov (2010) and Tom Wilson (2012) were names heard throughout the spring.
This is not a slight to current general manager Brian MacLellan, who brought in T.J Oshie and Devante Smith-Pelly, two other big contributors during the Stanley Cup run, but the core was built by McPhee. Like most general managers, he had to take the brunt of the blame for the team's continued lack of postseason success as he and then head coach Adam Oates got pick slips in 2014.
Now, some of you probably read the headline, rolled your eyes and said I'm a millennial who thinks everyone should get a trophy.
Well, I'm not. Giving McPhee a ring would be odd, but it would be a nice, unique gesture. At the very least, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis could send him a thank you note.
Either way, George McPhee should be proud of his past and current work as a National Hockey League general manager.
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