Capitals fire Oates; McPhee out as GM

Arlington, VA ( - The Washington Capitals will not renew the contract of vice president and general manager George McPhee and have relieved head coach Adam Oates of his duties, majority owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick announced Saturday.

The Capitals went 38-30-14 this season, but missed the playoffs by three points.

"George has been a terrific, longtime executive for our franchise, and I'm grateful for his commitment to the Capitals organization for the past 17 years," said Leonsis. "Under his leadership, the Capitals won seven division titles, twice were the top team in the Eastern Conference, earned a Presidents' Trophy and competed in the playoffs 10 times. He was a highly effective manager who is extremely well regarded within our organization and around the NHL. We have the utmost respect for him and his family and wish them nothing but the very best.

"We are also appreciative of Adam's efforts and thank him for his devotion, work ethic and contributions to the Capitals the past two seasons. He is a smart, tactical coach who improved the performance of several of our players. He is a Hall of Fame player who we believe will be a longtime coach in the NHL. We will help him in whatever way we are able and wish him well.

"This is an important time for our organization, and I feel a change is needed in order to get us back to being a top echelon team that competes for the Stanley Cup."

The same day that he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, June 26, 2012, Oates was named head coach of the Capitals. He led Washington to a 27-18-3 record during the lockout shortened 2012-13 season.

"It was a tremendous honor to coach the Capitals these past two seasons," Oates said in a statement. "It is a great franchise with a wonderful fan base that will always be close to my heart. I'm grateful for the opportunity they provided me and wish them nothing but the best in the future."

McPhee's contract was up. He joined the Capitals in 1997 and led them to the Stanley Cup Finals in his first season. Washington won seven Southeast Division championships with McPhee as general manager.