While much of the attention to this year’s Stanley Cup will go towards the players, especially Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin and Vegas Golden Knights’ Marc-Andre Fleury, much of the spotlight should be shining on the Golden Knights’ general manager, George McPhee. The GM, who also worked as the general manager from 1997 to 2014 of the Washington Capitals, has had a hand in more than 75 percent of the players that will be on the ice on Monday.
McPhee is already responsible for putting together the Golden Knights roster from Fleury to William Karlsson to Jon Marchessault, to the often criticized deadline moves of acquiring Tomas Tatar and Ryan Reaves, both who have scored critical goals in the postseason. According to NBC Sports Tarik El-Bashir, not only has he had a hand in every player the Golden Knights have on their roster from Day 1, McPhee also is responsible for 13 of the team’s 25 players on their roster who have played in this year’s playoffs.
As the Capitals general manager, McPhee was responsible for drafting Alex Ovechkin (first overall in 2004), Nicklas Backstrom (fourth overall in 2006), Jay Beagle (signed as a free agent in 2008), John Carlson (24th overall in 2008), Braden Holtby (93rd overall in 2008), Dmitry Orlov (55th overall in 2009), Evgeny Kuznetsov (26th overall in 2010), Philipp Grubauer (112th in 2010), Travis Boyd (177th overall in 2011), Tom Wilson (16th overall in 2012), Chandler Stephenson (77th overall, 2012), Christian Djoos (195th in 2012), and Andre Burakovsky (23rd overall, 2013).
McPhee also has a close relationship with Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan. They played junior hockey together, were teammates at Bowling Green and worked together in Washington for 14 years, making this a very strange Stanley Cup Finals.
“It’s kind of a weird experience. We’ve been texting back-and-forth how strange it feels,” said McLellan on facing Vegas GM George McPhee.