One of the more interesting tidbits about the Vegas Golden Knights facing the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup Final is that Golden Knights general manager George McPhee gets to face the team that let him go.
Following the Capitals missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years following the 2013/14 season, McPhee’s contract with the Capitals was not renewed by the organization, ending his tenure from 1997-2014 as the team’s GM.
Approximately 50 months later, McPhee finds himself in the Stanley Cup Final with the expansion Golden Knights racing to face off against those same Capitals.
This isn’t the first time McPhee has been to a cup final. He was in office when the Caps were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in 1998. During his duration in Washington, McPhee was responsible for seven division titles and had his say in helping draft 13 players on the Caps current roster:
Alex Ovechkin, 1st overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft
Nicklas Backstrom, 4th in 2006
John Carlson, 27th overall in 2008
Braden Holtby, 93rd overall in 2008
Dmitry Orlov, 55th overall in 2009
Evgeny Kuznetsov, 26th overall, 2010
Philipp Grubauer, 112th overall, 2010
Travis Boyd, 177th overall, 2011
Chandler Stephenson, 77th overall, 2012
Tom Wilson, 16th overall, 2012
Christian Djoos, 195th overall, 2012
Andre Burakovsky, 23rd overall, 2013
Madison Bowey, 53rd overall, 2013
Nate Schmidt would’ve been included in that list, too, but McPhee was able to pluck him from the Capitals during the expansion draft.
He was one of the masterminds behind building the Caps and Golden Knights, and will now be watching both of the clubs go toe-to-toe for Lord Stanley’s mug.Will their be any bittersweet feelings for McPhee one day if the Caps win their first cup in franchise history?