Now that, amigos, is what I call a mullet.
Caps GM George McPhee, a.k.a. the former "VP of Atmosphere" of Blue Moon Mexican Cafe restaurants in New York City, a.k.a. DC's longest tenured GM, a.k.a. the man with the plan, a.k.a. The Undertaker, will be directing his 12th draft as the Caps head bossman tonight, 7 PM, and all day Saturday. While his drafting success has been mixed, he has overseen a streamlining and revamping of the organization's scouting system that is finally reaping dividends.
I could drone on and on about McPhee's GM skills, but it's Friday and I don't want to make Vinny Cerrato cry before the weekend even starts. Instead, I'll regale you with tales of McPhee's manliness that earned him the Undertaker moniker. And maybe a tidbit about his GM skills at the end:
- After a pre-season game in Chicago in 1999 in which the Blackhawks dressed goons and played dirty, McPhee took on the entire coaching staff and roster of the 'Hawks BY HIMSELF. Money quote, after receiving a month-long suspension and $20k fine: "I will never regret standing up for the organization or for what I think is right for the league."
- An undersized McPhee beat the shit out of current Tampa Bay Head Coach and convicted bookie Rich Tocchet with a busted hand. Glen Hanlon - back-up goalie at the time - was, um, fired up about it.
- The Tocchet-McPhee rematch is probably a draw. But the dude proves his fearlessness.
- McPhee takes on noted pugilist Bob Nystrom, who has at least a foot on him.
- Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't direct you towards this four part behind-the-scenes look at McPhee during the '06 entry draft (Backstrom, Varlamov, Neuvirth, Osala, Bouchard, Perrault came out of this one). Fascinating stuff. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) The highlight, from Part 3: "I just want to make it look like we're doing stuff. Did I ever tell you you look marvelous?"
What to expect: The Caps pick 24th tonight, and WaPo beat writer Tarik El-Bashir thinks McPhee is looking long and hard at speedy RW scoring prospect Landon Ferraro, son of former NHLer Ray. Which would be consistent with his recent taste for drafting NHL lineage (Seabrook, Bourque, Bouchard, Perrault, Gustafsson). You're not getting an NHLer right away with the 24th pick, but Mike Green was snagged 29th, Jeff Schultz 27th, and studly blue-chipper John Carlson was last year's 27th pick. A trade or two to acquire a 2nd-line center to replace Fedorov is possible.
What not to expect: McPhee trading the pick for washed up veterans and handing them massive contracts, and then watching as future NHL stars Victor Hedman or John Tavares fall to the 24th slot anyways. Grunfeld and Cerrato have that shit covered.
Amateur Player Rankings and Scouting Reports
Mock Draft 1
Mock Draft 2
Mock Draft 3
NHL Amateur Draft Round 1. 7 PM, Versus Network.