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[Report] Gretzky as vp or director of hockey ops? Gillis, Regier, Feaster among candidates for Washington Capitals GM


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The Washington Capitals are in need of a new coach after firing Adam Oates after two seasons on the bench. They're in need of a new general manager first, though.

For the first time in a very long time the Caps are searching for a new GM after dismissing George McPhee with Oates. They have had only two GMs in the last 30 years between McPhee and David Poile, so this search thing is a bit new to them.

That might explain why the Caps are reportedly looking at some familiar names in the GM business. From Renaud Lavoie of TVA:

Renaud Lavoie @renlavoietva

Capitals are still in the process to find a new GM. Mike Gillis, Darcy Regier and Jay Feaster are candidates but not the only one.

3:52 PM - 12 May 2014

So those are some interesting names on the list. All three GMs were fired this past season with McPhee (Gillis from the Canucks, Regier from the Sabres and Feaster from the Flames). Obviously that means they are available and have experience but that likely wouldn't instill much confidence in the Capitals' fans. At least Mike Milbury didn't make the reported list.

Hiring a GM is something that has to be fast-tracked for the Caps with the draft coming up in a little more than a month and the fact that they need to hire a coach. Barry Trotz is one who has been mentioned in Washington a lot -- a team he said he has spoken to -- but if they don't hurry, perhaps he won't still be around to hire.

A new GM in Washington will have a lot of big decisions to make with a team that has been trending the wrong direction the last couple of years but still has a couple of stars to work with, obviously including Alex Ovechkin. On defense and in net, though, there are a lot of question marks (what else is new?)

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Last month, when the Capitals were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs with less than a week remaining in the regular season, team owner Ted Leonsis promised to be deliberate and thorough with his evaluations before deciding on the future of the organization.

Two weeks later, on April 26, he decided to fire general manager George McPhee and head coach Adam Oates.

Three weeks later the Capitals are still without a general manager while rumors persist that Wayne Gretzky could join the organization as a vice president and director of hockey operations.

If Gretzky is the man to lead the Capitals into their next hockey chapter, whom might he ask to join him as general manager in his latest venture?

Boston Bruins assistant general manager Jim Benning appears to be the most popular choice as the NHL’s general manager in waiting, but he reportedly has his sights set on the vacancy in Vancouver.

That would leave a wide open field of potential general managers with limited experience in that role.

Included among the candidates are former NHL general managers Doug MacLean, Craig Button and Mike Gillis.

MacLean, 60, served as an assistant coach with the Capitals in the late 1980s and coached the AHL Baltimore Skipjacks in 1990 before taking a job as an assistant general manager to Bryan Murray with the Detroit Red Wings.

After four years in Detroit MacLean was hired as head coach of the Florida Panthers in 1995 and guided them to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season behind the bench.

His last NHL job came as general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets, working there from the start of the franchise in 1998 until 2007.

For the past four years MacLean has worked as a radio host and analyst for Hockey Central.

Button, 51, is another former NHL GM working in the media as an analyst for NHL on the Fly on the NHL Network.

Button worked in the scouting department of the Minnesota North Stars and Dallas Stars from 1988-2000, winning a Stanley Cup ring in 1999 before landing the job of general manager of the Calgary Flames from 2000-03. He is credited for constructing the nucleus of the Calgary team that went to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final.

Gillis, 55, is a former player agent who was hired as general manager of the Canucks in 2008. Under Gillis the Canucks reached the playoffs in five straight seasons, falling to the Bruins in the seventh game of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. His teams were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in each of the past two seasons and he was relieved of his duties on April 8.

There are also a pair of GM candidates currently working in Toronto. Dave Poulin and Claude Loiselle have been retained under new Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan but both have been linked to the vacancy in Washington.

Poulin, 55, retired as a player in 1995 and coached Notre DameUniversity for 10 seasons. In 2009 he was hired by the Maple Leafs as their vice president of hockey operations and general manager of the AHL Toronto Marlies.

Loiselle, 50, retired as a player in 1994 and was hired as assistant general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning and general manager of the AHL Norfolk Admirals.

He spent seven years as Associate Director of Hockey Operations for the NHL and, after serving as a scout with the Anaheim Ducks, he was hired by the Leafs in 2010 as assistant general manager to Brian Burke.

Also believed to be on the Capitals’ long list of GM candidates is Nashville Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton, Sharks director of scouting Tim Burke, and Tampa Bay Lightning assistant general manager Julien BriseBois.

Of those listed, who would you hire as the Caps' next general manager? Is there someone else that fits better?

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AV will win the cup this year with the Rags. MG will win the cup next year with the Caps.

If that happens, then might as well cheer for another team because the Canucks will never win a Cup with their stupid rabid media ranting fans.

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