The Washington Capitals are looking for a new general manager for the first time in 17 years after moving on from Vice President/GM George McPhee. Once they get a new GM, they’ll put him in charge of finding a new coach. Beyond that, it will be a new day for Caps fans. So you’ll forgive owner Ted Leonsis for taking his time while other teams snatch up GM candidates. In performing their due diligence, one name has repeatedly popped up in the Caps’ search and it’s not exactly a small one. That’s right, The Great One himself might be in play for the Caps gig.
According to this piece by Insider Chuck Gormley, Wayne Gretzky would love to be team president and bring in a GM to run the show in DC. However, Gretzky isn’t going to play the waiting game with Leonsis. As the piece reads:
However, the source said Gretzky has not had more than a few casual conversations with the Capitals and believes that if they really wanted Gretzky they would have hired him by now.
You really can’t blame ownership for shuffling their feet on Gretzky. While it would be a great PR move to hire the most recognizable name in hockey to run the team, it probably wouldn’t be the best administrative move for the betterment of the hockey team. When you have more experienced GMs available who have winning records, you tend to think twice about hiring guys who are coming in solely based on things they did away from the job they’ve been hired to do. Gretzky was a fantastic hockey player, but as we learned during his coaching days, that doesn’t automatically mean he’s good at everything else related to hockey.
If Ted Leonsis really wants to do right by tortured Caps fans, he’ll keep doing his homework on potential GMs and presidents to steer this team back to the playoffs. That likely means he’ll take them nowhere near Wayne Gretzky and the accompanying circus.