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McPhee was hired to manage the Washington Capitals in June 1997. In his first year as General Manager, the Capitals went to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they were swept by the Red Wings, who repeated their 1997 Stanley Cup championship.
McPhee has also put the pieces in places for the Capitals to win four Southeast Division titles (2000, 2001, 2008 and 2009).
Through recent draft years, McPhee has acquired several players that have become stars for the Capitals.
His most notable draft pick is Alexander Ovechkin, who was taken first in the 2004 Entry Draft. He has won several NHL awards since making his debut in 2005-2006, including:
Calder Trophy (2006, posted 106 points)
Rocket Richard Trophy (2008, posted 65 goals)
Art Ross (112 points)
Lester B. Pearson/Ted Lindsay Award (2008-2010)
Hart Memorial Trophy (2008 and 2009)
Ovechkin has also had four 100-point seasons (2006 and 2008-2010) and is the current Capitals captain. He got the "C" last year after Chris Clark was traded to the Blue Jackets.
He also has several Capitals records, including:
Most goals in a season (65 goals in 2007-2008)
Four seasons of 50 or more goals (2006 and 2008-2010)
Points in a season by a rookie (106 points, set in 2006)
His NHL records include:
First player to win the Art Ross, Rocket Richard, Hart Trophy and Pearson Award in one season
Regular season point total by a rookie
To reward Ovechkin for his efforts, McPhee signed him to a 13-year contract extension in 2007-2008.
Ovechkin has started off the 2010-2011 season with nine points in nine games.
Nicklas Backstrom, who was drafted in 2006, scored 69 points in his rookie year in the 2007-2008 season. He improved for the next two years, including finishing fourth in scoring in 2009-2010 with 101 points. Right now, he has six points and a minus-1 through eight games.
Backstrom was the runner-up for the Calder Trophy in 2008, which he lost to Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks. In 2007-2008, he set a Capitals record for most assists in a season by a rookie with 55.
Mike Green was drafted in 2004 and has also been on the upswing every year since 2006-2007. Last year, he had his best season to date with 76 points and a plus-39 rating. He was signed to a four-year extension in 2008 and has been nominated for the Norris Trophy twice.
Green also holds the NHL record for longest goal scoring streak by a defenseman. He scored a goal in eight straight games in the 2008-2009 season and finished with 73 points in 68 games. He currently has one point and a plus-five rating in six games.
Alexander Semin was drafted in 2002 and has posted three 70-point seasons since joining the league in 2006-2007. Last year, he received a one year contract extension. He has eight points and a plus-4 in nine games so far.
2008 draft pick John Calrson made his debut last season and had six points and a plus-11 in 22 games. He currently has six points and a plus-four through nine games.
Michal Neuvirth, also selected in 2006, has been playing outstanding with Semyon Varlamov out of the lineup with an injury. Between 2008-2010, he played 22 games and tallied an 11-5 record with a .903 save percentage and 2.87 GAA. Right now, he is 6-2 with a .929 save percentage and a 2.18 GAA. He is first in the NHL in wins and sixth in save percentage.
McPhee also turned around the Capitals' season in 2007-2008 when he dismissed Glen Hanlon and promoted Bruce Boudreau from the Capitals' AHL affiliate in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Caps were 6-14-1 when Boudreau took over and finished with a 43-31-8 record. Boudreau won the Jack Adams for his guidance, but the Capitals lost to the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
McPhee's teams have only gotten past the first round of the playoffs once since the 1998 Finals appearance. Last year, they were dealt a crushing defeat when they dropped a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and were eliminated by the Montreal Canadiens.
The Capitals are 6-3-0 and hold second place in the Southeast Division. They are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.