WASHINGTON -- General manager George McPhee and coach Adam Oates lost their jobs with the Washington Capitals on Saturday, about two weeks after the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Riley Reiff Jersey . "We were left with the overall impression that the team wasnt trending toward being able to compete for a Stanley Cup," Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said in a news conference at the clubs arena. "And that was just a clear signal and why it was time to make those changes." McPhees contract was up and the team announced it will not give him a new one after his 17 years as the GM, which included drafting Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in the first round. Oates was fired with one season left on his three-year deal. A former star player for the Capitals, he was in his first job as an NHL head coach. Washington finished this season with the ninth-most points in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of a playoff berth. "You have to do something to pivot the team to be an ongoing strong team," Leonsis said. "And I just felt that new leadership at this time was needed, and lets start it with a clean slate." Asked whether any player would be untouchable as part of upcoming changes -- a chance, perhaps, for Leonsis to mention captain and top scorer Ovechkin -- the owner replied: "Im not the general manager. So If the general manager comes with something, we would listen to the general manager." Ovechkin has won three league MVP awards and again led the NHL in scoring this season with 51 goals, but the Capitals havent made it past the second round of the playoffs during the Russian wings career. Dick Patrick, the president of the Capitals, said the team already has drawn up a list of potential GM candidates. "Typically, youd like to have a general manager in place and have him choose a coach," Patrick said. The Capitals reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1998, McPhees first year on the job, and were swept by the Detroit Red Wings. Later, McPhee oversaw a "rebuild" ordered by Leonsis, including jettisoning top players with big contracts such as Jaromir Jagr. "Lets not forget that rebuilding process was dramatic. And I watched a great executive go through really, really hard times and really rebuild that team quickly. We just didnt get there," Leonsis said. "At some point, you just have to try something different." While McPhee eventually built a young roster filled with offensive stars, he never placed as much emphasis on constructing a rugged, defensive-minded blue line crop. He hired a succession of coaches with zero previous NHL experience running a team, including Glen Hanlon, Bruce Boudreau, Dale Hunter and Oates. Led by Ovechkin, the Capitals produced terrific regular-season results for a half-dozen seasons, without similar success in the post-season. Four years ago, Washington won the Presidents Trophy for having the most points during the season, then lost in the first round of the playoffs to the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens. Leonsis called McPhee, who built seven division-winning teams, "a talented man, a great friend," but that it was time for "a fresh set of eyes." The Capitals went 65-48-17 under Oates in his two seasons. In a brief statement released via the team, Oates called it "a tremendous honour to coach the Capitals these past two seasons" and said he was "grateful for the opportunity." In his first season in charge, which was shortened because of a labour dispute, Washington reached the playoffs with a late surge before losing in the first round to the New York Rangers in seven games. "We were a continuously improving playoff team until we werent. And the last two seasons showed us that we need to improve. And thats what it came down to," Leonsis said. "Dick and I said, We have to make that gut check. Do we have to change? And where do you start? And you start with the coach and the general manager." Danielle Hunter Jersey . And by all indications, the team is expected to select phenom Connor McDavid with their selection. The Buffalo Sabres, who were knocked down to the second overall pick after finishing with the worst regular season record, are expected to take the other generational player in Jack Eichel. Ben Gedeon Jersey . Leave it to Matt Niskanen, the newly proclaimed Eddie Haskell of the Washington Capitals. http://www.thevikingsshoponline.com/Youth-Datone-Jones-Vikings-Jersey/ . The Toronto Maple Leafs were holding a news conference, so they got curious. It didnt take long for them to find out via social media that coach Randy Carlyle was coming back — with a two-year extension — and assistants Greg Cronin, Scott Gordon and Dave Farrish were being let go.NEW ORLEANS -- The Saints Jimmy Graham and the NFL Players Association were dealt a setback Wednesday when an arbitrator ruled that he can only be considered a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag designation. NFLPA had filed a grievance arguing that Graham was used as a wide receiver often enough to qualify for the more lucrative receiver tag. But arbitrator Stephen Burbank disagreed and now the NFLPA is reviewing his ruling, and will advise Graham on his options, which could include an appeal. Grahams case is being closely watched around the league because it could set a precedent for negotiations involving players who fill diverse roles in their teams offensive or defensive schemes. For example, some outside linebackers in a 3-4 defensive scheme could argue their right to receive the higher defensive end tag. NFL franchise tags, which allow each team to keep one prized player who is due to become a free agent, were set this year at $7 million for tight ends and $12.3 million for receivers. Burbank, who is also a University of Pennsylvania law professor, found that Graham could fulfil the standard duties of a tight end when he was lined up in the slot or within 4 yards of an offensive tackle, as he was for most of his snaps. Burbank further pointed out that defences usually accounted for Graham as a tight end, regardless of his alignment, by assigning a linebacker or safety to cover him. "Like tight ends, wide receivers and running backs often line up in the slot," Burbanks ruling stated. "The defence employed against any player so aligned turns on the players position, not his alignment, because of the physical attributes and skill sets of the players in those positions." Burbank indicated there could be merit to the NFLPA contention that Graham cannot be considdered a tight end when he does in fact line up as a wideout. Ryan Quigley Jersey. However, because both sides stipulated that Graham lined up within 4 yards of an offensive tackle for nearly 55 per cent of his snaps, Burbank said he did not need to address the minority of instances in which offensive formations employed by Saints coach Sean Payton placed Graham at a wider distance from the offensive line. The NFLs collective bargaining agreement states that franchise tags should be applied according to the position at which a player lines up for the majority of his snaps. Graham has skipped Saints off-season practices while holding out for a new, long-term contract. A favourable ruling from Burbank would have further enhanced negotiating leverage for Graham, who last season led the Saints with 86 catches for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns. Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said the club would have no comment on the ruling, and Sexton did not respond to a request for comment. In its statement, the NFLPA said: "We will also continue to assist Graham and his representation as necessary to help the player reach a fair long-term deal with the New Orleans Saints." Such disputes are not frequent, but draw lots of attention because of their potential to set a precedent. Baltimores Terrell Suggs, the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year, argued in 2008 that he should be tagged as an end, not a linebacker. The difference back then was about $800,000. That dispute ended when Suggs signed a new long-term contract with the Ravens. He later helped them win the 2012 NFL championship. 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