"For the first time in 17 years and just the third time in their 40-year history, the Washington Capitals had concurrent openings at the general manager and head coach positions.
"The Capitals have filled both positions, promoting assistant general manager Brian MacLellan to senior vice president and general manager and hiring longtime Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz as the team's next head coach.
"MacLellan becomes the sixth GM in franchise history while Trotz is the 17th man to run the Washington bench.
"Having missed the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in the last seven seasons, the Washington braintrust of majority owner Ted Leonsis and team president Dick Patrick spent nearly two weeks at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season conducting a post-mortem on a disappointing season in which the Capitals -- by their own admission -- underachieved by about 10 standings points.
"On April 26, the Caps announced that they would not renew the contract of vice president and general manager George McPhee after 17 years on the job.
"The Caps also announced that they had relieved coach Adam Oates of his duties behind the Washington bench. Oates had one year remaining on a three-year contract he signed in the summer of 2012.
"Leonsis and Patrick spent the last month interviewing several candidates for the GM vacancy, eventually identifying MacLellan as the man for the job. MacLellan was then instrumental in reaching out to Trotz and getting him to Washington for an interview.
"Leonsis and Patrick were impressed by the way that MacLellan and Trotz quickly bonded together and shared a similar vision for both the short- and long-term future of the franchise, and ownership had the cohesive duo it was seeking for the relatively rare twin openings."
CSN Washington Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley notes MacLellan's promotion was somewhat unexpected because other top-notch candidates such as former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero, Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton and Boston Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney still available.
Gormley also spoke with Patrick to get his sentiments on his two new hires.
"After interviewing a number of extremely well-qualified and capable candidates outside of his organization, we became even more confident that Brian is the best person to lead our hockey club.
"He possesses the necessary skill set that is required for this position and has the vision that we believe will give us the realistic chance of consistenly competing for the Stanley Cup.
"In Barry, we are getting an experienced and well-respected coach whose presence and tutelage will benefit our players. With these moves we believe we took a big step forward in assembling a great leadership group that will be in synch and in alignment for our hockey team."
Trotz told Gormley,"This is a great organization with a strong foundation and a tremendous fan base. I look forward to working with this group of talented players and the quality front office staff this team has assembled."
For his part, MacLellan told The Washington Post's Katie Carrera he is looking forward to building a solid foundation for the Capitals with Trotz at the helm.
"Over the course of my career I have worked in acquiring the necessary skills to excel in this position. We have built a solid foundation, and I look forward to implementing my ideas to get us back to competing for the Stanley Cup.
"Barry's teams have always played with structure, discipline and intensity, and I look forward to him leading us to success for many years to come."
Trotz, Nashville's first head coach in franchise history, led the Predators to seven playoff appearances in his 15 seasons in Tennessee. He has a 557-479-60 career head coaching record through May 26.