During the 2010-11 season, the Capitals finished as the top seed in the Eastern Conference in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history. Their 107 points tied for the third-highest total in team history and marked the third straight season that the Capitals have reached the 100-point plateau. In addition, Washington has finished ranked in the top three in home record in each of the past three seasons, pacing the league with a 30-5-6 record last year and finishing third in 2008-09 (29-9-3). Their 84 wins at home in the last three seasons are tied with San Jose for most in the NHL during that span.
McPhee was very active this past offseason, adding several veterans to the Capitals lineup through trades and free agency including, Troy Brouwer, Roman Hamrlik, Joel Ward, Jeff Halpern and Tomas Vokoun.
Named the fifth general manager in team history June 9, 1997, McPhee found immediate success with the Capitals while engineering the club’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in his first season (1997-98). Under his leadership the team has claimed six Southeast Division championships (1999-00, 2000-01, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11), seven 40-or-more win seasons (1997-98, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11) and set a club record for wins and points (2009-10).
In efforts to further cultivate the Capitals as a competitive and progressive franchise, McPhee has stressed the growth of the Washington organization through scouting, coaching, amateur drafts, free agency, trades and minor-league development. These focus points have resulted in 16 first-round draft picks during the last nine years, the most of any NHL team, including the No. 1 overall pick in 2004, Alex Ovechkin, the league’s first repeat MVP in more than a decade. Capitals prospects have enjoyed tremendous success as well, leading the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League to the 2006, 2009 and 2010 Calder Cup championships and four appearances in the Calder Cup finals in a five-year span.
Prior to joining the Capitals, McPhee spent five seasons as the vice president and director of hockey operations as well as alternate governor for the Vancouver Canucks, assisting then general manager Pat Quinn with all hockey-related matters. In his time with the Canucks, the team enjoyed four trips to the playoffs, a division championship and a trip to the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.
McPhee began his playing career in his hometown of Guelph, Ont., with the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Guelph Platers, leading them to the 1978 Centennial Cup, Canada’s Tier II championship. Following his stint with the Platers, McPhee attended Bowling Green State University of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, where he became one of college hockey’s most decorated players. A four-year letterwinner from 1978-82, he was the recipient of the 1982 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to the top player in college hockey. His other accolades included a first-team All-CCHA selection in 1982, second-team All-CCHA honors in 1979 and 1981 and his selection as the CCHA’s Rookie of the Year in 1979. Earning a degree in business, he became the first player to be named to the CCHA All-Academic Team in three consecutive seasons.
Upon the completion of his college career, McPhee signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers and started his NHL career during the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs. Following his seven-year playing career with the Rangers and New Jersey Devils, McPhee earned his law degree from Rutgers University in 1992.