In need of a general manager for the first time in nearly two decades, the Washington Capitals promoted assistant general manager Brian MacLellan on Monday.
"After conducting an extensive search for a general manager, we determined that Brian was the best candidate to help us reach our ultimate goal, winning the Stanley Cup," team owner Ted Leonsis said in a statement. "We have witnessed his abilities firsthand, and we have tremendous respect for how he manages people and situations. We feel he has relevant, in-depth knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of our franchise and will be forceful in addressing them.
"Brian always has displayed tremendous professionalism, passion and commitment to the Capitals. He has his own unique approach, and we are confident in his abilities to lead this organization to new heights."
MacLellan replaces George McPhee, who was informed in April that his contract would not be renewed after nearly 17 years.
A Stanley Cup champion as a player with the Calgary Flames, MacLellan has spent the past 13 seasons with the Capitals, serving as the assistant general manager for the past seven. He was a pro scout from 2000-03 before being promoted to director of player personnel.
Last month, Leonsis said the organization needed a "fresh voice and a fresh set of eyes" in order to reposition itself as a viable Stanley Cup contender. On the surface, MacLellan's promotion seems to fly in the face of that assertion considering how closely he worked with McPhee. It is unclear at this point, however, if or how their respective approaches to building a team will overlap.
According to CBC's Elliotte Friedman, other potential candidates for the vacancy included former Calgary Flames general managers Craig Button and Jay Feaster, Nashville Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton, Capitals director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney, former Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier and Boston Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney.
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