The second caller into Jonathan Warner’s post-game radio show asked a concise and insightful question. Paraphrasing in my own words, here it is:
The Capitals are in last place. If the Capitals don’t have the personnel to make the playoffs after the extensive Rebuild, then the fault lies with GM George McPhee. If the team does have the personnel but the players aren’t executing, then it’s the fault of the coach. It’s one or the other. Which is it?
Understandably, Warner and guest Ken Sabourin waffled on the answer, since clearly they are not in positions to indict either McPhee or Hanlon. But it is, in my estimation, a valid question. Now the answer may be “both,” of course, but at the least it’s one or the other–and since another fire sale would potentially kill the team’s fans (I know it would shorten my life expectancy), a coaching or general manager change seems to be in the cards.
Glen Hanlon did an admirable job in his first few years. Cleaning up after the roster-gutting and the Butch Cassidy disaster, he forged a hard-working if under-talented team into a tough group. George McPhee has had his share of blunders (e.g., questionable draft picks; Trevor Linden; Robert Lang) and his share of coups (e.g., Oates to Philly for way more than he was worth; Milan Jurcina).
So who, OFB readers, is the source of the team’s current woes: the Coach, the GM, or both?