When this offseason began for the Washington Capitals, the list of things that general manager George McPhee had to address was daunting, to say the least.
Find a new coach.
Have a successful draft.
Find a second-line center.
Get the key restricted free agents resigned while, at the same time, try and collect important pieces via unrestricted free agency.
Deal with the Alexander Semin situation—well that was pretty much just a matter of saying good bye to Semin, but you get the picture.
Barely two months later, McPhee has whittled his to-do list down considerably. A good article on McPhee's offseason accomplishments can be found here at sickunbelievable.com.
I don't see how a Caps' fan can be anything but pleased with what McPhee has done in the offseason.
First he solved the problem he has had since Sergei Federov returned to Russia by trading for Mike Ribeiro and obtaining his second-line center in the process (Washington Times).
Not satisfied with just drafting Forsberg and Wilson, McPhee took it to the next level by recently signing Forsberg to a three year deal (Washington Times) and then signing Wilson to a similar deal (Washington Post).
To make a good situation even better, McPhee got both guys involved with the Caps other draft choices at the Caps development camp in early July (Washington Post).
On the free-agency front, McPhee has resigned numerous important pieces of the Caps lineup including Mathieu Perreault and Jay Beagle (Sports Illustrated).
McPhee then took what many consider to be a gamble—but one with immense upside potential—by reaching a new three year, $18.25 million deal with often injured defenseman Mike Green (Washington Post). Many Caps' fans did not like this move. But Green did play quite well in the playoffs so, perhaps, he has turned the corner.
As for unrestricted free agents, McPhee has made a few moves. Nothing big or splashy. But he has signed players that should add depth to the team. For instance, a left winger like Wojtek Wolski could be a suitable replacement for Alex Semin, if Semin does in fact leave.
Something similar could be said for Ryan Stoa or defenseman Jack Hillen. Thus far, McPhee has been quite shrewd with the moves he has made—and there are still a few moves out there that he could yet make.
And then there was McPhee's choice for the new head coach. As all Caps' fans know, McPhee gave the nod to former team captain, Adam Oates (Washington Times), in the hope that Oates could bring a more up-tempo style of game back to the Caps, while maintaining the defensive toughness the team displayed under Dale Hunter.
In what might be a good omen, Oates then got selected for induction into the Hall of Fame (Washington Times) later that day.
And then, very recently, McPhee helped Oates fill out his coaching staff by bringing in former Caps' player Calle Johansson as an assistant coach (Washington Post). Johansson might be a bit light on experience but certainly has a lot of enthusiasm.
Then, as reported by Katie Carrera yesterday, Oates rounded out his coaching staff by naming Tim Hunter as an assistant coach (Washington Post). In sharp contrast to Johansson, Hunter has tons of experience as an assistant coach—13 seasons to be exact—including some prior experience in DC.
That is a lot for any GM to accomplish in an offseason, let alone one that still has a few months remaining to it.
About the only thing McPhee has not done is resolve this pesky CBA situation that threatens the entire upcoming season.
But in reality, there are a few offseason needs that McPhee has not completely addressed yet.
Here are four things McPhee and the Caps still need to address, or at least address further, before the start of the new season.