New York Islanders Management Bio: George McPhee

By J.A. Dominicis

After the New York Islanders announced today that longtime NHL executive George McPhee was hired as special advisor to General Manager Garth Snow, fans were probably pretty satisfied that a very experienced person has joined the team’s front office. So let’s take a look at who George McPhee really is in this quick little management bio.

Name: George McPhee

Place of Birth: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Age: 57

Hockey Playing Career: McPhee won the 1982 Hobey Baker Award after an outstanding college career with Bowling Green State. After spending some time in the now-defunct Central Hockey League (CHL) minor hockey league, he made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers in the 1983 playoffs. he went on to play seven seasons with the Rangers and New Jersey Devils. So he does have a history in this neck of the woods.

Management Career: After serving five seasons with the Vancouver Canucks in the front office, McPhee went on to spend 17 seasons as the general manager of the Washington Capitals beginning in 1997. At the time, the Capitals were (similarly to the St. Louis Blues right now) a strong team, but failed in the playoffs. He was semi-successful because he brought the team to the Stanley Cup Finals once and won a couple Southeast Division titles in the next few seasons.

After failing to go deep in the playoffs for a couple season, McPhee and owner Ted Leonsis helped structure a massive rebuild in 2003. In what is considered to be one of the largest fire sales in NHL history, McPhee got rid of Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra, Steve Konowalchuk, Sergei Gonchar and Robert Lang, among others. It seemed to have paid off, because he then picked Alex Ovechkin in the 2004 NHL Draft. He then built a team around Ovechkin consisting of the likes of Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Semyon Varlamov and Mike Green and went on to win five more division titles.

He got relieved of his duties in the summer of 2014 after a couple of underperforming seasons for the Capitals and helped construct team Canada in the 2015 World Championships, which won gold.

Can McPhee’s experience help the Islanders? All I know is that it cannot hurt them.

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