In his own exit interview with reporters on Monday, deposed Capitals general manager George McPhee had a lot to say. Over the next few posts, we’ll break down his closing remarks on his 17-year career in Washington into bite-sized pieces for your consumption.
Here’s Part Two of McPhee’s farewell news conference:
On lasting 17 years as Caps GM:
I'm certainly really lucky. It was my first GM gig and we came here hoping we could last a few years and make the right decisions and we've been here a long time. My kids have grown up here. It's amazing. My eldest daughter was six or seven months old. Now she's off to college. We’ve got lots to be thankful for and if there's another GM's job in the future and someone gives me an opportunity, I'd love to do it again. And I'll go to Iceland to do it. It doesn't matter where it is. What I've learned in this business is, when you're winning, it's great. And when you're losing, it's not. It's been a lot of fun managing an NHL team. I'm really, really lucky.
On if it’s easier to turn the page now that his children are older:
We all know that comes with the business. We signed up for it. If there's a move in the future, we're ready.
RELATED: Mcphee part 1: [McPhee: 'I honestly believe they can win a Cup']
On if he’s been in contact with any other NHL teams:
I haven't been. I can't be. They have to go through ownership if someone's going to call, because I'm still under contract for a couple more months. [Until] July 1.
On if he would like to jump right back into managing:
It's got to be the right opportunity, obviously, and I'd be delighted if someone picked up the phone. The job, for me, it's got to feed the soul. It's got to feel good. I've got to work with good people. As ownership can tell you, it's never been about the money for me or any of that stuff. It's about working with great people and having fun with this. Life's too short to be any other way. So I'm ready. My wife and I can only walk around the block so many times. I’m ready.
On the importance of having a close dressing room:
You win with good people. If you look at all the champions, they're really, really good character people, through and through. And there are so many good people in this business, it's not hard to find them. What's really interesting about our business is that people that don't carry themselves the right way get weeded out quickly on the way up. It's a great league, full of great people, and for the most part, every hockey player you draft is a good kid. They're a remarkable group to work with. I was just talking to guys that remember we lost a heartbreaking Game 7 a few years ago and Brooks Laich was driving home and changes someone’s tire for them. It’s a simple gesture, but that’s really what it’s all about. Really good people. We've had really good people here in Washington. We haven't had any trouble with players.
On whether he fought to keep other members of the Capitals organization on staff:
I think it's fair. I'm not exaggerating when I try to explain that this organization is in great shape. We don't have any bad contracts on the books; lots of cap space to work with; a great affiliation in Hershey; a whole group of young players coming into the organization. We've drafted so well. I honestly believe we're one of the top five or six teams in the league in drafting. If you look at the players we have and where we're getting them, we're doing really well. We got a little thin the last year or two, but now they're all coming in again. The team is really positioned to go forward. We have terrific pro scouts, terrific amateur scouts. And all the people we work with in the front office. I look around me and say I couldn't have made a better hire with this person and that person and that person. And what I've tried to do, my management style has always been really firm. I'm easy to get to. I'm going to put you in a position and you own it, and you run with it. You become the expert and you tell me what you need and we'll get it for you. You're the expert now. If you tell me to tweak something, shift the priorities for scouts in one region over another, move people around a little bit because one area is producing a lot of players and another isn't, that sort of thing, you're the experts, go ahead. We have this self-perpetuating organization now with all the good people. It's going to do really well. Again, I'm not exaggerating. I really believe where this club's going to be. It starts next year again. It's going to win a Cup.