Sources: Capitals' McPhee Has "Adversarial Relationship" With Some Player Agents
This spring marks a "nadir for the Capitals on the ice" as they failed to make the playoffs for the first time since '06-07, but it is "clear that a lack of direction and communication off it have been eroding the franchise from within for far longer," according to Katie Carrera of the WASHINGTON POST. Sources said that VP & GM George McPhee has an "adversarial relationship with player agents, whose grievances include his refusal to communicate with them directly and limiting their postgame access to clients." One NHL agent said that when a "key free agent or a player with a no-trade clause ... is available, the Capitals intentionally aren’t on the list" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/12). Meanwhile, Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis on his "Ted's Take" blog on Saturday wrote, "We and many other teams do not allow agents after the game to come into our locker room to mingle with players and media and staff." Leonsis: "That is a long-time policy we implemented; it has been in place for many years and I think it is a good one. We simply ask the agents to mingle and wait for the players in a very nice lounge where family members gather after the game." He added, "We have had a system set up where by [Assistant GM & Dir of Legal Affairs] Don Fishman is the main point of contact for managing the cap, and dealing with agents on a day to day and player by player basis as to contracts. Don is our long-term 'Capologist.' He is an attorney and this is his main responsibility in our franchise. To empower him, and to foster clear communications, we don't encourage agents to call executives throughout the franchise. We have created, like many organizations, an easy-to-understand point of contact system. It has been in place for many years. Again, this seems to be an issue with some agents" (TEDSTAKE.com, 4/12).