The Capitals entered this season with a level of uncertainty as both general manager Brian MacLellan and head coach Barry Trotz were in the final year of their contracts. The team has at least settled the uncertainty surrounding the general manager as MacLellan has signed a new multiyear contract to remain with Washington.
The news was first reported by Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos and confirmed to NBC Sports Washington on Friday. Specific terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
MacLellan served as assistant GM in Washington for seven years prior to taking over for George McPhee in 2014.
If the job of a general manager is to assemble the best roster possible, it is hard to argue with what MacLellan has done. In the past three seasons, the Capitals have advanced to the second round of the playoffs in each and won the Presidents' Trophy in each of the past two years.
Among the more notable moves MacLellan has made in his tenure has been signing Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik and Justin Williams as free agents and trading for T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller. He also successfully shipped out Brooks Laich's contract in 2016 giving up only Connor Carrick and a second-round pick and even netted a return in the deal of Daniel Winnik and a fifth-round pick. This past summer he negotiated long-term contract extensions for Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Dmitry Orlov which forced the team to trade away Marcus Johansson in order to fit under the salary cap. He also negotiated a five-year deal with Braden Holtby in 2015.
Those long-term extensions signal that MacLellan believes he can retool the roster once the Alex Ovechkin championship window is closed and the past year has seen a dramatic shift in strategy. After going "all-in" in past trade deadlines such as last year when the team acquired Kevin Shattenkirk, this year MacLellan made two low-key moves in acquiring Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek.
With the team facing an uncertain future due to its aging core, Ted Leonsis has pegged MacLellan as the man to lead the team through that transition.
The future of head coach Barry Trotz is not as certain. Trotz was actually hired before MacLellan in the 2014 offseason, but with only a few weeks remaining in the regular season, he remains in need of a new contract and his future in Washington now rests firmly in MacLellan's hands.
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